CLEVELAND - NewsChannel5 news anchor and longtime commentator on events in Cleveland, Leon Bibb, writes an open letter to former Cleveland Cavs basketball star LeBron James on why James should return to Cleveland.
How are you? We are fine. Well, in basketball, we are not fine. We miss seeing you on the Cleveland Cavs basketball court. You know, you broke our hearts when you had that show where you made "The Decision" to leave the Cleveland Cavs and take your talents to "South Beach," where the Miami Heat plays its games.
Well, let's let bygones be bygones because I heard you have reached a point in your contract where you can opt out and become a free agent. I know we parted in a horrible way, but time can heal the wounds so I'm writing to let you know if you want to come home again, you can.
I'm not pushing you and I'm not begging you. I'm just sayin' with the new kid we had to get to put on the basketball floor, Kyrie Irving, and you, we could really have something at the Q Arena. The Cavs say there is some more salary cap money where they could get another superstar. You guys could own the league. Really, if we could put a deal together, this town would go crazy. You know, Cleveland hasn't seen a championship in a major sport since 1964 when the Browns won the NFL championship.
If you and the Cavs could bring a big-time winner, you would be the greatest thing since sliced bread. And to do it in your hometown would be all the more satisfying to you. It would be one of the biggest stories in the history of all sports.
I am not dreamin', LeBron. This could happen. When you were a kid growing up in Akron, just south of Cleveland, you watched the movie, "The Wizard of Oz." I'll bet you remember how Dorothy achieved superstar status when she went to the Land of Oz. It was there she met a lion, a scarecrow, and a tin man. Each one of them was lacking something he really needed to complete his life. Dorothy helped each one find what he needed.
You helped Bosh and Wade and the others in Miami get what they needed. You also got what you needed, too — a championship; a couple of them. But what you really need is home. Dorothy in the "Wizard of Oz" understood that, too. She wanted to return home. She, like you, was big in the shoe business. She had a pair of shoes which everyone wanted (just like you have shoes so many want to buy). So Dorothy clicked her magic shoe heels together and whispered, "There's no place like home."
Magically, Dorothy was whisked away from all the plastic of Oz where things were not what they seemed to be and was transported back to her home. It was there she was greeted by all the people who were meaningful in her life, who had helped her grow up, and who loved her no matter how far away she would go.
LeBron, I'm betting you have that same kind of feeling. That's why you have a tattoo on you that reads "330." It is the telephone area code of your beloved Akron area in Northeast Ohio where you still own a home. You can go home again.
If you ring the doorbell to Cleveland, Akron, and the rest of Northeast Ohio, the door will open. There may be people who still harbor disagreements with you, but there are always people like that in all our lives. Most people will welcome you home because home is where your heart is.
So let's hang our tears our to dry and let's extend open arms to each other. Cleveland is waiting for you to realize that you really do want to come home. We'll keep the light on for you.