To the editor:
The recently completed 2011-12 National Basketball Association season saw Akron-native and former Cleveland Cavalier icon LeBron James finally achieving his long-stated team goal of winning an NBA championship, which was accomplished during his second season with the Miami Heat.
In addition to his team winning the ultimate team prize in professional basketball, James was voted the most valuable player in the NBA (his third such honor, with the previous two coming as a member of the Cavaliers), as well as being named the MVP of the NBA Finals (his first) and being a standout on the gold medal-winning team that represented our great nation in the 2012 Summer Olympics.
Without a doubt, James has proven himself to be one of the greatest basketball players of all time. All this at the still-young age of 27.
However, as a Cleveland Cavaliers' fan since their inception, I continue to experience somewhat of a bad taste regarding the way James appeared to disrespect his hometown fans, particularly in the way James left the Cavs in order to take his talents to the South Beach.
Recall, also, that prior to James' self-aggrandizing, over-planned public announcement to leave the Cavs, he seemed to show poor judgment and a lack of sensitivity when photographed at Indians games wearing a New York Yankees cap, and a Dallas Cowboys cap at a Cleveland Browns game.
Some hometown hero.
Funny, but he has never been photographed supporting non-Miami sports franchises as a member of the Heat.
James was praised by some for accepting a lower salary to join the Heat. However, in actuality, it was conveniently not mentioned that the state of Florida (unlike Ohio) has no state income tax, that he has a new jersey with a new number with the Heat (sales of which he receives a percentage) and that Miami, being a larger and more cosmopolitan market, would lead to more and greater personal endorsements. As a result, his estimated 2011 income tax was reported at more than $55 million, making him one of the highest-paid athletes in history.
Also, in the 2011-12 NBA playoffs, James, for the first time on the championship level, did not disappoint and played to his outstanding potential.
I still believe that if he so dedicated himself, James would have won numerous championships in Cleveland.
In the meantime, we Cleveland fans move forward without the pleasure of rooting for a world championship Cleveland professional sports franchise since the Browns won the National Football League championship in 1964, 48 years ago.