In a recent Q&A with NBA.com, former NBA Commissioner David Stern said that he “thought the world was being horribly unfair” to LeBron James after “The Decision” in 2010, when James revealed he would be leaving the Cavaliers for the Miami Heat.
Now that James is heading back to Cleveland, it’s water under the bridge, but Stern still feels people reacted poorly to the last decision.
From the Q&A with NBA.com’s David Aldridge:
I told LeBron, I thought that regardless of how poorly executed The Decision was, I thought the world was being horribly unfair to him. He was entitled to make that decision and he was entitled to make the decision he made. If it makes him happy, then I’m happy. I think it’s great. The additional dividend being, apparently, he has been much appreciated by the fans of the world for his decision to return to Cleveland. And I think that’s wonderful. And I think that it demonstrates how embedded the NBA is into the psyche of not just America, but maybe even the world.Stern’s right that the world was a bit unfair to James after “The Decision,” but just dismissing how “poorly executed” it was sort of misses the entire point. The biggest problem with “The Decision” wasn’t that James decided to go to Miami. The biggest problem with “The Decision” was “The Decision.” It was an entertainment spectacle masquerading as a charity event that yanked out the heart of every Cleveland sports fan.
James had every right to go to Miami, and if he had executed the 2010 decision like he did this one, it wouldn’t have gotten the reaction it did. Or, not quite the reaction it did.