LeBron James Just Wants To Be Loved

The 'King' reflects on a possible return to Cleveland.

James LeBeauby James LeBeau

Look, being a Cleveland Cavaliers fan, it should be expected that I hold a certain grudge against LeBron James for the way he chose to leave my team, and I've not been shy in expressing it. I've also took a certain amount of satisfaction in seeing him fail to get a ring in his short time in Miami as well as seeing him take shot after shot from the media for every bad move or ill advised word/tweet that comes from his lips/fingers.

That being said, I think I'm actually beginning to feel sorry for him.

In the 'King's' latest return to the city that gave everything to him, LeBron once again went up to a microphone and said a few things that have everyone in the NBA circle just scratching their heads. In this instance, he talked about a possible reunion with the Cleveland Cavaliers down the road.

"I think it would be great, it would be fun to play in front of these fans again," James said after the Heat's practice Thursday at Quicken Loans Arena.

"I had a lot of fun times here. You can't predict the future. Hopefully you continue to stay healthy. I'm here as a Miami player and I'm happy where I am now but I don't rule that out in any sense. If I decide to come back, hopefully the fans will accept me."

This answer seems innocent enough, doesn't it?

In one sense it is, it's the real answer to a question that LeBron has probably asked himself for over a year now. An answer steeped in honesty and the wistful desire to potentially recapture a time in his life where he was nothing but adored by everyone. In another sense, it just reaffirms what everyone thinks about this man-child from Akron, that he is just mentally soft.

The one and only knock on LeBron in basketball circles is that he doesn't have the heart to be a champion. He doesn't have the heart to will a team to victory when it matters most. As time moves on, and more and more we see inside the psyche of this gifted athlete, I think the problem isn't a lack of heart, it's just too much of it.

LeBron is a very sensitive person. He doesn't want to be the villain, plain and simple, he wants to be loved by all, to be wrapped up in a cocoon of good feelings and good vibes. He wants acceptance and reaffirmation for all he does and says.

And, to be honest, there's nothing wrong with feeling that way. It's just that, in the sport he plays, with his abilities and the hype that surrounds him, being emotional like that can honesty be a detriment to teammates and to himself.

Sad thing is, though, it's not something that James can turn off. It's who he is and who he always will be. And, in the end, this insight into his soul does more to make me forgive him than anything else he's ever done.