King James and Tacit Consent
With the semester coming to a close, I find it fitting to return to the very first philosopher we studied in the course, Socrates. After reading Apology and Crito, we encountered the idea of tacit consent. Tacit consent is the idea that we owe obligation to someone or something, because we choose to stick around. For example, Socrates chose to stay in Athens (tacit consent), therefore, he owed it to Athens not to flee to avoid death. I find this idea to be very intriguing when applied to recent events. Last Thursday, LeBron James, the son of Cleveland, returned home to play against the team he put on the map. As many of you may know, LeBron James left Cleveland for Miami after seven seasons and zero championships. His “Decision” drew much criticism, and the ire of all of northeast Ohio. Granted, they way in which he left was dishonorable, LeBron James had the right to leave. I am so tired of all these people saying LeBron James owed it to Cleveland to stay. He owed Cleveland nothing! If anything, Cleveland owed him. LeBron took a falling city, and franchise, and turned them around. In 2002, the year before LeBron joined the Cavaliers, Cleveland ranked 23rd out of 29 teams in home attendance with 14,539 people per game. In 2010 Cleveland jumped to 2nd out of 30 teams in home attendance, with an average home attendance of 20,562. In February 2003 (Pre-LeBron era) the Cavs were worth $222 million. In December 2009, the Cavs were worth $467 million. Almost all of this rise in wealth can be attributed to none other than LeBron James. Without King James, Cleveland would have fallen flat on their face. He saved a worthless franchise from ruin and made northeast Ohio relevant in basketball.
Now, if that argument doesn’t convince you that LeBron James owed nothing to Cleveland, my next argument should. Although LeBron played for the Cavs, he always associated himself with his hometown of Akron. his home was built in Akron, one of his tattoos reads 330, the area code of Akron, and when he left the Cavaliers, he took out a full page ad in the Akron Beacon Journal. LeBron has always called Akron home, and that is something that will never change. Now, some of you may be saying, well Akron wouldn’t exist without Cleveland, and you’re probably right, but that doesn’t matter. Akron exists because we know it exists. Whether that is because of Cleveland, in my opinion, is irrelevant. Also, LeBron James was drafted by the Cavaliers. He never got a choice in choosing what team he wanted to play for, until now. So, when we return to the original question: Did “King James owe Cleveland?, the answer is no. LeBron did more for the Cavaliers and the city of Cleveland than anyone I know of, other than Jim Brown. He did so many great things for Cleveland that made them the franchise they are today. So, to Cleveland fans, don’t complain about LeBron James leaving for Miami. Whether he left quietly, or he left extravagantly as he did, you still would hate him, but don’t. He gave you so many great years and so many great memories. He did more for you than you probably ever could have imagined. So just let him be happy with his decision, and move on with life without him.