“I will take my talents to South Beach and join the Miami Heat.”
With those words, LeBron James changed NBA history — and made millions of Cleveland Cavaliers fans incredibly upset.
Saturday, July 8 marks the 13th anniversary of James’ decision to leave his first team, the Cavs, and head south to the Heat, where he would go on to win two titles and truly become today’s biggest superstar.
James’s decision was widely criticized at the time.
This Day In Sports clips on Twitter showed a compilation of James’ on-air announcement and reaction from Cleveland fans who felt burned out, neglected and betrayed.
July 8, 2010: LeBron makes a decision and Cleveland fans react.
— This Day in Sports Clips (@TDISportsClips) 8 July 2023
Even after all these years, James still receives some negative feedback for the way he handled his departure from the Cavaliers.
Some call him a coward and others say he got out of the situation he was in.
— Slixy (@slixy) 8 July 2023
He took out the chicken.
— Don Paquito (@richardong1) 8 July 2023
But many people have come out in favor of James’ choice, even if they’re not particularly fond of the way it’s being broadcast around the world on primetime ESPN.
These fans noted that James finally came back to Cleveland and won the championship he had been promised.
He also claims that it was not James’ fault that his decision was a television special.
It was the work of agents, producers and money-hungry people behind the scenes, he says.
He then made a deal with them and brought the championship… LeBron should not have been blamed for this decision… It was his agents, ESPN etc who were seeing the dollar crunch and taking advantage of the situation Were.
— Hellman (@andrewheller1) 8 July 2023
He handled it the wrong way, but in the end I don’t blame him for taking his shot at the title and then going back to Cleveland to get it,
– 2009/2010 Phillies and 2008 Eagles (@2009PhilliesEgg1) 8 July 2023
Many are using the anniversary as a way to bash Cleveland’s front office once again.
These people say that it was their fault that James left in the first place.
He says that because the team management failed to build a strong team around James, he had no choice but to leave the Cavaliers at that time.
Cavs fans shouldn’t have been angry at LeBron imo
The front office failed to build a good team around him and of course LeBron got tired of carrying them around and left predictably. The fans should have been more mad at him
— ChiefBlue4298 (@STLBluesFan98) 8 July 2023
If James had never returned to Cleveland and won a historic championship for that city, this moment in NBA history would still be filled with emotion.
But today most people have calmed down about it, even Cavaliers fans who were very angry at the time.
Yes, James took his talents to South Beach in 2010, but years later he brought them back to Ohio.
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