photo = Joshua Gunter / The Plain Dealer

Terry Pluto, The Plain Dealer

 

CLEVELAND, Ohio — Maybe this happens when you get too much, too soon. Maybe it happens when you forget where you came from, or what you mean to the people of Northeast Ohio.

But LeBron James should feel a sense of shame and pain for putting together a self-serving ESPN special to inform the world that he no longer intends to play for the Cavaliers. To sharpen the insult, he titled his switch to the Miami Heat as “The Decision.”

Yes, that’s just like The Fumble, The Drive, The Move, The Shot and other awful moments in the history of Cleveland sports — and he picked the name?

Doesn’t anyone in the James camp have a clue of what people back home will think? Doesn’t anyone care? Of if they mentioned to James, doesn’t he get it?

Twenty-five year-olds are usually not the most mature people on the planet. Add in becoming worth $100 million at 18 and a global sports icon a few years later, and perhaps James was building up to this crass, sad moment. He lives in a celebrity bubble where it’s very difficult to see any situation except through his own eyes, with his own sense of entitlement.

And yes, James is entitled to become a free agent.

He can sign with Cavs, the Bulls or anywhere else. But don’t make the claim that Miami with a made-for-TV team in Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh and a no room in the salary cap for much more than some of James’ old St. Vincent-St. Mary teammates is purely about winning.

It’s hype. It’s sizzle. It’s about his brand name.

But it’s not the best basketball situation.

Of the teams with salary cap room to sign James, Chicago has the deepest roster. New Jersey has some intriguing young players. The Cavs have won 61 and 66 games in the last two seasons with James, and would be a contender again in the Eastern Conference if he had returned.

Yes, James is free to go to Miami. He’s free to market himself on ESPN. But fans in his hometown also are free to say that he never should have embarrassed them.

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