Last July, LeBron James threw himself a television show to celebrate his leaving the Cleveland Cavaliers for the Miami Heat. A lot of people hated him before that, but after that one-hour special, it was a new level of hate, unseen since the height of Kobe Bryant’s powers. The combination of an oft-arrogant player mixed with a self-indulgent television special was the perfect storm for some next level hatred maneuvers.

And LeBron is sorry about that. Seriously. He just had to do it. From ESPN’s Brian Windhorst:

“I knew deep down in my heart, as much as I loved my teammates back in Cleveland and as much as I loved home, I knew it couldn’t do it by myself against that team,” James said.

“The way it panned out with all the friends and family and the fans back home, I apologize for the way it happened. I knew this opportunity was once in a lifetime. To be able to come down here and pair with two guys and this organization — in order for me to move on with my career, that team that we just defeated, we had to go through them.”

This is kind of like a big deal. It’s the first time since “The Decision” that LeBron’s publicly apologized for what happened, which isn’t really something that needs to be done but is still pretty cool. One of the many things we ask of LeBron is to realize the effect that his actions have on others, and that’s what he’s doing.

“The Decision” rubbed a lot of people the wrong way, but apologizing for it is something that’s kind of weird to me since he obviously thought it was a good idea and is only saying he’s sorry for it now because he realizes people hated it. But that’s OK. He’s not known for empathizing and that’s exactly what he’s doing, which is nice. There’s probably a better word for it, but “nice” works. It won’t sooth all the problems that people have with LeBron, but if they can get this little glimpse in to LeBron’s thinking behind everything, it will help. High five on this one, LeBron.

Not to mention, after “The Decision” the prescription for getting people back on LeBron’s side was some dominant performances coupled with humility. You got both of those from him last night, which could mean that this is a turning point. There will always be people who hate LeBron, but if he keeps doing this — being humble and being awesome — it’s going to be a lot harder.

Comments (9)

  1. Hey Trey.

    I tend to disagree with you a little bit. I think his apology had to do a lot with finally beating the Celtics. The apology was very self serving. It was like he was “drunk” from the victory and just started rattling off stuff.

    Otherwise, why would he wait ten months to express his sorrow. If the Celtics had beaten LeBron again, I don’t think we would have gotten the apology.

  2. I agree with that. And I think it’s silly that he apologized at all, since he’s probably not that sorry about it. However, it was a nice thing that he did and that should get some attention, given all the stick he gets for the bad stuff.

  3. I think Lebron is more sorry that a lot of people started to hate him because of ‘The Decision’ rather than actually recognizing the conceptual douchebaggery he engaged in. If there was a phrase that defined this NBA season it was “I’m taking my talents to South Beach”. Yeah, I don’t buy it.

  4. My opinion is…who cares? He’s a basketball player. People act like he personally did something to him. All before the decision, it was how he was going to N.Y. and that things would be great, he went to Miami and the same “N.Y. will be great” reporters turned on him.

    I didn’t see Trey apologize to Yahoo…so… :-)

  5. Self serving crap, not truly intended to make any Cleveland fans feel better, (the people who took the most offense by the “decision.”) Too little, way too late. Cleveland will hate Lebron for the rest of his life. Hey, Lebron, up yer butt Jobu with your apology. You, Corny Nerd.

    http://www.esquire.com/the-side/lebron-james/lebron-apologizes-to-cleveland-5730188

  6. This isn’t going over too well in Cleveland, which I think is kind of stupid and petty. I run a Cavaliers blog and am actually totally okay with this apology. Last night my Twitter and Facebook was full of people ready to vindicate LeBron for the Decision, so I think that most NBA fans (outside of Cleveland that is), were ready to give him a by on it anyway. I think him bringing it up in the context of him finally toppling Boston is a good indication that how he left does in fact bother him. Why else bring it up when everyone was ready to move on from it anyway? Maybe because the victory felt a bit hollow given that it required help from Wade/Bosh/Aging to pull it off? Possibly because he was the only one out there (other than Z that is) that had to go through that for years? For him to finally address leaving Cleveland outside of the platitudes he’s given since last July right now is a huge indication that it actually does bother him deep down. Remember his untimely bathroom break last time he was in town? I think it’s sincere.

    The fact that he also admits that he needed help from Wade/Bosh to do it is extremely humble. On the same night seemingly everyone is ready to anoit him as the next Jordan, he basically went out of his way to say that’s not the case and that he couldn’t possibly be that. Like you said, it’s an amazing display of humility from a guy with “Choosen 1″ tattooed on him.

    The thing that sticks out to me the most though, is that he doesn’t make the “I’m from Akron, not Cleveland” case like he has multiple times in the past and refers to the entire region simply as ‘home’. Given how regionally focused Northeast Ohio is, I think everyone, regardless of whether they were from Cleveland or Akron, were bothered by that old argument. That statement alone won’t get picked up by the mainstream media as it’s pretty non-obvious for those not from here, but for us, it’s a pretty big deal.

    I just wish more Cavs fans could move on and let this go already and get excited for the future of our team. I know I’m ready.

  7. As a Cleveland fan, I am excited about the future of the Cavs, but I will always hate Lebron and root against him. As I will always hate the Ravens and wish ill-will on Art Modell.

  8. Bingo, Joshua! … “I think his apology had to do a lot with finally beating the Celtics. It was like he was “drunk” from the victory and just started rattling off stuff.”

    The Heat were acting like they won the championship last night.

  9. i couldn’t care less about the DECISION, i couldn’t care less who he plays for. What made me mad was the circus he turned it into. All he had to do was sign his contract with Miami and be on his way, he didn’t have to turn it into the media frenzy that it was.

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