The Babe and The King
July 11 is remembered by many sports fans, especially followers of baseball, as the day Babe Ruth made his Major League Baseball debut with the Boston Red Sox. In fact, today is the 100th anniversary of the debut of George Herman Ruth, who would go on to become arguably the greatest all-around player in the history of the game. His 714 home runs are impressive, but let’s not forget he was an outstanding pitcher with the Red Sox. When he was traded to the Yankees in 1920, Ruth’s new team figured it had to have his bat in the lineup every day, and thus moved him to right field.
In Cleveland and northeast Ohio, July 11 will now be remembered for a very, very different reason.
LeBron James is coming home. The King made it official a few hours ago when he announced in a letter to Sports Illustrated he was coming back to the Cleveland Cavaliers, the team which drafted him first overall in 2003, and the team LeBron played for during his first seven NBA seasons.
LeBron was well on his way to the Hall of Fame during his career in Cleveland, even though the Cavaliers were swept by San Antonio in the 2007 Finals, the only time Cleveland has ever reached the championship series. LeBron could have been a hero for life had he decided to stay with the Cavaliers, but like just about every athlete in the 21st century, he wanted to win a championship, and that pursuit of a ring almost always trumps loyalty.
Therefore, LeBron entered collusion with Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh to form a Big Three with the Heat when LeBron and Bosh hit the free agent market in the summer of 2010. They talked about playing for the same team for four years, which meant the talks were well underway while LeBron was playing in the 2007 Finals for Cleveland. Here’s the best player in the NBA, playing for his hometown team in the Finals, and he’s already talking about leaving even though his contract still has three years to run?