CHICAGO (WSCR) The fall of LeBron James from hometown superstar in Cleveland to league-wide villain was a quick transition that started immediately after James declared on national TV that he would join Dwyane Wade in Miami.
Much of the hatred stemmed from the very public way he dropped the Cavaliers franchise and fans that had supported him for seven years.
After beating the Boston Celtics in the Eastern Conference semifinals, James publicly apologized for the way everything happened. It was an apology that wasn’t well received in Cleveland.
“I think it was sincere, but nobody in Cleveland believed it to be so,” Kenny Roda, of WKNR SportsTalk 850 in Cleveland, said on the Danny Mac Show.
LISTEN: Kenny Roda On The Danny Mac Show
With their one-time superstar now squaring off against the Chicago Bulls for a chance to go where he never could with the Cavs, it should come as no surprise if the city of Cleavland is pulling for Derrick Rose and the Bulls.
“He’s the hated son now,” Roda said of James. “He was the beloved son here in Cleveland and could do no wrong, and now he can do no right. And I don’t think, over time, it’s going to heal any wounds. [Tuesday] night, when you saw Dan Gilbert’s son up there [at the NBA Lottery drawing], and when they interviewed this 14-year old kid, he said ‘what’s not to like?’ And I think you’re going to start to hear that slogan, and maybe that will replace the billboard that was up there with LeBron: ‘What’s not to like? Cleveland, Ohio.’ People are going to try to put LeBron out of their mind as much as they can after the Bulls beat them in this series, hopefully…Art Model and LeBron James are going to be at the top of the list forever, it’s never going to change.”