James is a coward for not letting the Cavs know of his decision before the public, and really is narcissistic for making them and the world wait for an adoring one-hour ESPN special to learn of his next destination. But he didn't "betray" anyone by using his right to test the free market to determine his future.
Right now, Miami aside, LeBron James is hated among many corners of the NBA fandom, especially in Cleveland, where they will likely not forgive him anytime soon. That is understandable. LeBron was their closest hope to seeing a pro athlete lead a team to a championship in years. And now that hope is gone.
But among the larger sports world, the all-about-me way LeBron went about his big decision, plus his sore-loser mentality - refusing to shake hands with Orlando in the playoffs two seasons ago, his seeming lack of 100% effort against the Celtics in this year's playoffs and quick toss off of his Cavs jersey for the last time after the C's eliminated him - has tarnished his all-around, nice-guy image some.
For good and bad reasons, he has become the A-Rod of the NBA. Good because he's leaving a longtime franchise for a team with actual championship experience. Bad because both have a narcissistic personality (though LeBron has yet to be photographed kissing himself in a mirror).
Is there anything James can do to repair this media-obsessed, full-of-himself image he has cast of himself?
After the details of James' new Heat contract is worked out, he should write an open letter to Cleveland Cavaliers fans and those in and out of the organization who worked with and supported him since he came into the league in 2003.
In the letter, he could also apologize with some actual heart this time, for not being able to bring the city an NBA title. That would be a good start.
Photo of LeBron James credit: Chris Chappelear of Flickr