I realize this may be a little premature, but this is something that’s been brought up a lot on Twitter lately, and with the leaked info of the NBA schedule, it seems appropriate to talk about it now.
As we now know, LeBron James will make his first return to Cleveland to play the Cavaliers on December 2, 2010. What remains to be seen is how Cavs fans will and should react to seeing their former King play against them.
We know there will be plenty of yelling, lots of jeers, a bunch of booing and probably more than a fair share of rude obscenities being sent LeBron’s way. Some fans, though, have wondered if a more organized effort was appropriate here.
Some have suggested the Cavaliers should hold a “Z Appreciation Night” to stop the game and make LeBron sit there and watch as fans show their true appreciation for a true sports hero. I’ll admit, that’s not a bad idea, and I have to believe it would irk LeBron and make him a little uncomfortable.
The idea that has been the most prevalent, though, has been the walk out idea. There are several variations of the same theme, but the main idea is that Cavs fans should show up for the game, cheer for the Cavs in the pregame and boo LeBron when team lineups are announced. Then, at some pre-determined time in the game, all the fans are supposed to get up and walk out as some kind of misguided show of solidarity to show LeBron that he’s not even worth it, or something like that.
I cannot stress enough what an awful idea this is. What is the point in walking out on the Cavaliers? No matter what your intent might be, that’s what the result would be. The fans would be turning their back on the players on the Cavaliers who are still here. The ones who will still be fighting for us fans this season.
None of the Heat fans in attendance (and there will be Heat fans….or at least LeBron fans who took their allegiances to South Beach with LeBron’s talents) will walk out, and it would thus leave Miami with a home crowd advantage. LeBron would probably love nothing more than for all the Cleveland fans to walk out and thus leave him alone.
No matter what way you look at it, this walkout idea is one of the single worst ideas I have ever heard. I implore Cavs fans to not be suckered in by cheap ploys and/or gimmicks. The best way to “get back” at LeBron is to show up and cheer our hearts and scream our lungs out for the Cleveland Cavaliers. Boo LeBron whenever he touches the ball, come up with funny/unique/creative chants to use during time outs. Yell at LeBron when he’s on the bench to distract him. Above all else, though, help support the Cavaliers on the court and see if we can’t will them to a victory. Because in the end, the single biggest way to hurt LeBron now is to beat him and to beat the Miami Heat. It may be a long shot, but it’s better to show passion and loyalty to the actual Cavalier players no matter what the outcome of the game is. That’s true loyalty, and that’s what being a fan should be all about.