One of my best friends described LeBron James’ return to Cleveland as a mission of atonement.

Ah… no.

When LeBron James left Cleveland in July 2010 after delivering seven incredible, memorable years of high quality basketball as a phenom/prodigy of the sport and member of the Cavaliers, including their only Finals trip in team history (2007), fans impulsively reacted with contempt, burning LeBron’s jersey and writing him off.

A childish Dan Gilbert-vociferated rant, four years, four Finals appearances and two NBA titles later, the magnanimous LeBron James is back at the Mistake by the Lake and, honestly, he’s the man who’s truly doing the forgiving.

The only mistake LeBron made was trusting in his public relations media folks to handle his bidding back in the summer of 2010, when he was a 25-year-old man in a tough situation.

I see people often writing, “I was never mad that LeBron left! I was mad about how he left!” I hear this too often.

I can understand being angry about it for a while, but keeping the unadulterated hate fresh for so long over how he left holds no merit in this guy’s eyes.

Regardless, he’s back. All is forgiven from both sides. They’ll be in the Finals within two years — maybe even this year, depending on what happens in the tenuous Eastern conference (I wouldn’t be surprised if the Chicago Bulls make a Finals run — Tom Thibodeau is the third best coach in the league right now, in my opinion, behind Gregg Popovich and Rick Carlisle).

Disagree? Leave a comment verbally tearing me a new one over this mentality of mine. I welcome it.

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