I have a sister who is three years older. We grew up in the same house until I was 10, when my parents divorced and I ended up with my father, and she (born a rolling stone) ended up wherever she decided to be. My sister and I were never really close. In fact she and I could be described as polar opposites. She is the loud, party-loving extrovert and I am more of a quiet, introvert.
Over the years my sister turned into that relative. You know, the one who drinks too much, insults everyone at the get-together and starts a fight that warrants a call to police. Yeah, THAT relative. They might do something that makes you damn-near hate them. Sometimes you may stop speaking to them, but in spite of their inability to bridle their “sober” tongue..you still love them, because they are family.
In most Black families these situations are handled within the family. Your friends might witness that relative in action, but they better not say shit! Why not?
BECAUSE THEY’RE NOT FAMILY!
If my sister pisses me off so bad I want to damage her or her property and we stop speaking for years, that’s between me and my sister. It doesn’t mean I don’t love her, it just means she did some really fucked up shit that hurt me so much I had to take a break from any interactions with her.
If she came to me (even after years) and gave me a sincere, heartfelt apology. and I accepted and forgave her, that’s between me and my sister.Why?
Because we’re family.
If an outsider witnessed the transgression my sister committed against me and agreed my sister’s actions were fucked up, but they know I have forgiven her and welcomed her BACK into my life–their opinion is irrelevant. Why?
Because they’re not family.
The same goes for the relationship between LeBron James and the city of Cleveland. We are a family! I’ve tried to explain to people over the years that it’s not that he left, it was how he left. It was comparable to being dumped via text–that shit was cold! Some people still don’t get it and that’s fine. You wouldn’t because you’re not from Cleveland.
Yes, some people burned jerseys and other LeBron paraphernalia out of anger. A lot of people said very harsh things that I’m sure hurt him in private, but he never let on that they did. Then, the crooked uncle Dan, who’s always been an asshole, wrote a rant in letter form making fantastical claims and writing checks that even he couldn’t cash! But deep down somewhere way far beneath the pain we STILL loved him! We still held out hope that one day he’d come home.
Then it happened.
On a summer’s day in July, 2014, he wrote us (Cleveland) a love letter. It was a letter of apology for The Decision. The letter let us know he was till one of us. He knew our pain He was one of us, and he wanted to come home.
Everyone didn’t immediately welcome him back with open arms, myself included. I wanted him to earn my forgiveness with a ring! I didn’t cheer so loud those first games. I wouldn’t figuratively hug him back. Nope! He had to make good on his promise, but I could do that because I’m family! I couldn’t keep it up though. LeBron jump shot, blocked, assisted and dunked his way back into my heart! I finally forgave him.
One reporter asked LeBron after the Cavs’ championship win, about everything that happened between The Decision and his return and he said, “that’s yesterday’s news and I don’t think anybody’s reading yesterday’s news.”
It was like that 2nd quarter block on Curry in game 7–get that shit outta here!
So when people who aren’t from my city speak about my city or my teams I have a problem, because you ain’t family!!
LeBron asked for forgiveness and Cleveland accepted. That’s all outsiders need to know. We’re good. And the icing on the cake is–he kept his promise. All hail the king! If you ain’t family mind ya damn business!
Fuck the drive!
Fuck the fumble!
Fuck the decision!
Fuck the curse!
We are not our past!
We are not the mistake on the lake!
We are family!
We are ALL IN!
We are Champions!
We are BELIEVELAND!
We are Cleveland!