At the end of LeBron James’ first season in Miami, I was watching the Heat and Mavericks play Game 6 of the 2011 NBA Finals while eating dinner in a hotel bar at the Philadelphia airport.
I don’t remember much about the game, but I’ll never forget that the bar was filled with business travelers and vacationers rooting for the Mavericks. And when they pulled out a 105-95 win to take the championship, the bar erupted in cheers and strangers high-fived each other.
It’s funny how one ill-advised decision can color everyone’s perceptions about your character. Unfortunately for James, many sports fans defined him by “The Decision,” the hourlong ESPN show in July 2010 during which he announced his plans to leave Cleveland and “take my talents to South Beach.