Fansided Network has you covered with all your LeBron James news. I cover the Cleveland Cavaliers, Cleveland Indians and the Ohio State Buckeyes for Factory of Sadness as a part of the Fansided Network. Check out all the crazy coverage there. Yet all the craziness that surrounds James harken back to a time not so long ago when Johnny Manziel was all the rage of Cleveland sports. That leads us to the question: If LeBron James returns to Cleveland will he or Manziel be the “King of Cleveland”? Lets take a look at arguments for and against each:
James is a huge megastar who has achieved at the highest peak of his game. He is a multiple time champion, MVP, All Star and generally considered the best player in the game today. He also may be in the running for the greatest player ever when his career is actually over, which may be 8 to 10 years away. James is a homegrown talent from Ohio, though he was clear to say he is from Akron not Cleveland, he was embraced as one of our own.
He left. He left on national TV. He left and won a championship after promising one in Cleveland. He is clearly from Akron not Cleveland. Returning seems more mercenary then merciful. James seems to try to hard to create an image. He whines every time he gets touched going to the rim. Oh and he left, on national TV.
Manziel does whatever he wants, even though the media and fans don’t like it. While this may be bad long term, fans will embrace a player who is real about who he is. Manziel is fresh, new in a society where fresh and new are all the rage. Fans do not know what to expect from him and will be glued to their TVs to watch. This is a Browns town. Even when it comes to page views the Browns dominate all other Cleveland sports, even when James was on the Cavs. Manziel is a quarterback. A dynamic and fun QB on the field. A player who runs all over the place and makes exciting plays. He also has the scarcity factor on his side as he will only be seen in 16 regular season games.
He isn’t even the starter yet for the Browns. No one, no analyst, no fan, no player, no front office member, no one, knows if Manziel will be highly successful in the NFL. He comes from money and flaunting that money won’t sit well with the people of Cleveland. His party lifestyle also won’t sit well with the blue collar, generally conservative, folks in northern Ohio. He is small in stature, which research says impacts how people are viewed. Football is much more difficult to be impacted by 1 player, though QB is the one player that can the most. He isn’t from around here.
If James returns this week it seems as if this may be a landslide victory for him. Yet if James returns to Miami then comes back to Cleveland, after teasing the fan base this year, say in 2016 it will be a far different story. At that time Manziel will have likely started at least 1 season. With the stellar defense, great offensive line and a solid running game (not to mention 2 first round picks next year) Manziel should be captaining a playoff bound Browns team. That, along with James’ Cleveland PR missteps, would seal the crown for Johnny Football.
If James returns, as I expect him too, this year it is very possible that he and Manziel make the PR decision to be seen as “co-Kings.” This would benefit Manziel as he can be in the spotlight but not have a huge pressure to win the starting job right away. Being connected to James, who would be expected to win right away, would allow Manziel to be seen as a player who is learning “the right way” and will be given patience.
Who would be the King of Cleveland in 2014 if James returns this year?