I feel entirely terrible for the city of Cleveland. (All native Ohioans share this sympathy gene.) The city's best chance at a championship since Jose Mesa made his delicious homemade meatballs was haughtily squandered after the Cavaliers laid the most sulfurous of eggs in the Eastern Conference semifinals against the Boston Celtics, losing in six games.
This signifies the end of LeBron James' current contract with the Cavs and the advent of — check that, it probably began after Game 5 — laptop-side analysis of where he may sign.
New York? New Jersey? Chicago? Dallas? Greece? Back to Cleveland? Everyone has an opinion, and everyone has their reasons. I'll try to sort out all these hypotheses on a later date (actually, I'd love to compile at least one theory/reason per team down the road) so instead here's a suggestion for all those Cavaliers fans.
You all have a secondary affinity for some of James' teammates, be it Zydrunas Ilgauskas, Mo Williams, Anderson Varejao, Delonte West, or someone else. And that's nice of you to not put all your fandom eggs in one basket, because you knew three years ago that LeBron might be packing up and moving elsewhere down the road.
But have you considered doing the same?
Athletes are always migrating, but even though their unrequited lovers may emigrate, their hearts remain planted within the planks, grass, and ice of their beloved teams. However, when it comes to the Cavaliers, it seems that most Clevelanders really juiced up their intensity for the NBA once the lanky kid from Akron became the cornerstone of their franchise. Maybe you toughed out the Brad Daugherty/Richfield Coliseum days. I applaud you. Keep the faith. Your team may still be able to win it all without LeBron; in fact, one team each year since 2003 has proven that it's feasible.
But if you started rooting for the Cavaliers because you're a big fan of LeBron — there's a lot to love and there's no shame in that — then why not re-sign your allegiances alongside him? There's no shame in that.
If he stays nestled in the Cuyahoga, then all the better. Ignore these paragraphs. But if he treks elsewhere, then congratulations, you get to memorize a slew of new names, numbers, and nuances.
It's a cutthroat maneuver, sure, but would you rather ditch or be ditched? The University of Michigan football slogan "THOSE WHO STAY WILL BE CHAMPIONS" was not coined by Art Modell, Manny Ramirez, Bill Belichick, Charlie Manuel, Chuck Daly, or George Steinbrenner.