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October 15th, 2009

As we approach the start of another NBA season, people start to toss around the question “Which team has what it takes this year?” However, with this being the last year LeBron James is under contract in Cleveland, the question that seems to be asked most is “Will he stay or will he go?”

I hope he stays. I pray he stays. But I don’t think he knows what he is going to do yet.

So all we can do is sit back, relax and enjoy the ride. It’s been a great ride so far. 

James came to Cleveland six years ago, dubbed “The Chosen One” by Sports Illustrated. He was added to a team that went 17-65 during the 2002-03 season and drafted to a franchise that didn’t receive any attention in its own city, less yet nationally. 

He came here saying he would light Cleveland up “like Las Vegas.” Now you out-of-towners may mock the downtown area, but he unquestionably brought buckets of excitement to the city. I’ll consider that a promise fulfilled, and what more can you ask for?

There were countless times when James provided one of those “I remember where I was when …” moments that will be remembered in these parts long after he hangs up the Nikes. 

Ask a Cleveland sports fan where they were for the “48 Special” when LeBron scored 29 of the Cavs’ last 30 points to knock off the Detroit Pistons in game five of the 2007 Eastern Conference Finals. Or ask where they were when he hit the desperation three-pointer as time expired to beat the Magic in this past May’s Eastern Conference Finals.

The goal of professional sports is to win championships – and LeBron’s critics will point out that he hasn’t done that yet. He has (at least) one more shot at it here in Cleveland, and nothing LeBron James does amazes anybody anymore. 

Even if he doesn’t bring a title to Cleveland, it was still a treat to watch him for the past six years, and I couldn’t be more excited about this upcoming season. 

If he goes to New York or New Jersey or whatever city he is rumored to want to play in today, it won’t be for money. The Cavs have the ability to offer him more money than any other team in the league. James will only leave if he thinks he is joining a team that has a better shot of winning an NBA title than the Cavs, and it’s hard not to respect that.

He’s one of those guys you can tell your grandkids that you watched play. It really is a treat to watch him play every night.

Here’s hoping for a great run this year … and many, many more.