The decision was criticized over and over again. In the matter of minutes, James went from Ohio's favorite son to Public Enemy No. 1 in the Buckeye State.
There are falls from grace, and then there's what James went through upon leaving the Cavs. The criticism only intensified from there, as James (and the rest of the Heat) continued to lack a satisfactory of level of self-awareness.
James could do little, if nothing right on and off the court. He was criticized for being unable or unwilling to step up when things mattered most. His forgettable performance in the 2011 NBA Finals was mocked and cheered not only in Cleveland, but in just about every other part of America outside of South Florida.
Yet, through it all, James was finally able to break through on Thursday night in just the second year of the Miami experiment. The Decision seems like a long time ago, as James shed the label of loser by hoisting the trophy atop the NBA mountain top.
Was that one moment, hoisiting the trophy as a champion, worth it all for James?