In fact, it was all too much. And where did all of Cleveland’s pyrotechnic efforts go to? To LeBron James’ head, that’s where.
All the signs, the taunts and the money spent on profane t-shirts that will never be worn again … all of that was wasted because James built on that negative energy and reeled off a season-high 38 points as the Heat cruised to a 118-90 victory in Cleveland.
By the end of the third quarter, James was as giddy as a schoolboy beaming on the court. The boo birds were still there, but midway through the fourth quarter Quicken Loans Arena had gone silent.
This is how it should have been from the get-go. Sure, litter LeBron with a few boos, but creating a chant sheet and cheering when he missed in warm-ups only heightened his ego, which is big enough already.
It’s obvious that LeBron James is an ego-driven player, and Cleveland fans feeding into the hoopla surrounding his “Decision,” by hanging his jersey from their car bumpers, and screaming obscenities at him from the bleachers only made him stronger in the end.
Had they ignored the hype — or at least toned it down a couple thousand notches — they may have gotten into LeBron’s head. James clearly loves hype, and the scorned Cavs’ fans gave him exactly what he was looking for on Thursday night — and they paid for it with a 28-point loss.
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