In the summer of 2010, LeBron James became Cleveland's No. 1 enemy after he decided to take his talents to Miami and form a Big 3 with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh.
James tried so hard to take the Cavaliers to the promised land, but he didn't have the right pieces to take that final step and grab the Larry O'Brien trophy. After he decided to enter a better situation, Cleveland fans weren't happy, blasting LeBron for taking that path instead of staying with the Cavs to try to win a championship.
At the time, LeBron didn't have the influence he has today, so it wasn't like everybody wanted to go play with him at the Quicken Loans Arena. In a recent episode of More than an Athlete, James recalled how he lived those days and how people tried to portray him as the bad guy in that situation.
“So many different narratives of who I am was being portrayed, and I wasn’t that person. I sort of became that person because I was like f**k it. if they gonna make me be this person, I might as well just wear the black hat.”
“I was kinda waiting for that moment when the schedule came out and see when I was making my return. My mindset going into that game was I am gonna tear their a** up. I would never forget that day, December 2nd 2010.”
He also recalled a story of two fans that tried to mess with him but still tried to get a picture with the player once they saw him.
“I’m about to head down to the bus and then on my floor, the elevator opens. There is two guys who have F**k LBJ T-shirts, two of them. And the elevator opens. When they notice it’s me, one of the guys said, ‘Can I have a picture with you?’ And when it’s closing he says, ‘I am not even from Cleveland.'”
It still feels fresh when LeBron decided to end his first tenure with the Cleveland Cavaliers and try new things with the Miami Heat. He spent four years in Florida, going to the Finals each season, winning two championships in the process.
He would return to Cleveland in 2014, winning a championship with the team in 2016, completing the most incredible comeback in NBA history. James promised a championship for Cleveland, and he delivered, closing the circle in a big fashion.