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Should The Cleveland Cavs Retire LeBron James’ #23 Jersey?

Submitted by on March 31, 2011 – 12:31 pm6 Comments
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When it’s all said and done, should the Cleveland Cavaliers retire LeBron James‘s #23?

For some reason, this came up in a recent story on ESPN.com. Brian Windhorst, who has been documenting James’ career since his high school days, talked to LeBron about the possible honor.

“That’s something I don’t know and something I can’t control,” James said. “Anytime you get a jersey retired anywhere it is a tribute. I have my jersey in my high school and when that happened it was unbelievable. If that happens here, I’ll be grateful.”

As of right now, James should be grateful if the city of Cleveland even had James’s Cavs jersey anywhere near the state of Ohio. But when the smoke finally clears (and it will eventually), you have to think Cleveland will find a way to get over “The Decision” and look at what James did for the Cavs and the city of Cleveland. Despite their messy breakup, James is the franchise leader in total points, minutes, steals and is second all-time in assists. Before LeBron, the Cavs best memories had more to do with Michael Jordan‘s jumper over Craig Ehlo in the 1989 NBA Playoffs than anything they actually did. That bad taste was washed away the moment James took to the floor and gave the Cavs some of the best seasons ever. It’s almost like being married to someone and having a great decade of love before something bad happens and it ends in divorce. Sure, the first few years of the divorce are going to hurt and you may hate that person. But once you reflect on those years, you realize it was better to have than to dwell in misery forever.

The wound is still open and Cavs fans may never forget what LeBron did to them, but they have to forgive. Retiring James’s jersey shouldn’t be that difficult of a decision. Let’s just not talk about it now when James still has perhaps another 7-10 years in the league.

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