It’s time to get some thoughts down on Lebron James, here, in the wee hours before the decision that has built up like a tsunami finally breaks on the shore (or riverbank) of one lucky city. And a tsunami is the fitting choice of metaphor here; we looked out from the end of the Heat’s season and saw much calmer waters, after all. Just two weeks later, out from somewhere in the depths, a rogue wave seems ready to roll in and extinguish all of the fires that burnt James’ wine and gold jerseys four years ago (if you thought I wasn’t going for that potshot, you’re crazy).
The polarizing, attention-grabbing, seemingly narcissistic (though he’s said not a word) fracas surrounding the 2014 version of NBA free agency has been talked and written and speculated to death. It’s all been punctuated pretty hilariously by Mike Miller’s incredibly conspicuous placing of a #23 Cavaliers jersey in his home gym as he “lets one fly.” Yes, of course he was trying to mess with us, and to that end he deserves a Bush-esque “Mission Accomplished” banner. But that doesn’t mean he wasn’t also foreshadowing Lebron’s likelier and likelier return to the Cavs.
I don’t think he knows anything. I think he hopes a whole hell of a lot of things. I also think, at this point, his hopes are fairly justifiable. So what now?
Well, in the me-centric world view that I enjoy visiting every once in a while, I like to think of the sports figures in my life as though they are here to help me get through the difficult times in life. We’re all the protagonists in our own stories anyways, right? Well in my story, Lebron has sort of been like Christopher Lloyd’s character Al in “Angels in the Outfield.” You all remember a fresh-faced Joseph Gordon-Leavitt and his guardian angel that helped the aptly named major league team from Anaheim make it all the way to the verge of the pennant; all so little Joseph could get his Dad back.
Lebron came to Miami four years ago and became the sports hero that I looked forward to watching in the Mays and Junes when I was (read: should have been) studying for law school finals. And since I get to draw my own connections between my life and the world of sports in this story, I get to look upon the 2014 NBA Finals as much more than simply “coinciding” with my graduation from law school. As great as making it out of law school was, it leaves me facing the real challenge: the Florida Bar.
And you remember the rule from the movie: the Angels had to win the pennant-clincher on their own. And maybe that’s what’s happening here. I’m going to face the Bar on my own.
So yea. Lebron is my Al. Is it a convenient rationalization for me to compare his time in Miami to a classic children’s film if he does decide to leave? Sure. But it’s my rationalization. What are sports if not just one more way to connect to the world, and to life, and make sense of our own experiences?
So Lebron, if you decide you’re headed back to Cleveland: Thanks. It was fun. No, it was more than fun. It was freaking divinely awesome. And if you decide to stick around?
I’m sure there’s some other rationalization I can come up with to fit that scenario, too.
 Also featuring Danny Glover in his Lethal Weapon prime, the Tony Danza that Disney thought they were getting back when they made that Eagles field goal kicker movie, and a small but noticeable role from a young Matthew McConnaughey. If you haven’t seen it, you need to.