At the time, LeBron’s decision to jump ship from Cleveland to Miami seemed like a cowardly act of betrayal, and Cavs owner Dan Gilbert described it as exactly that.
But taking a look at the logic behind his decision to leave, and we can see that LeBron really didn’t have much of a choice. He did, after all, try to convince fellow superstars Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh to come to Cleveland, but after they both signed with the Heat, the choice was already made for James.
If he wanted to even come close to winning a championship, then he had to leave Cleveland. In the time he spent there, 7 years to be exact, management wasn’t able to surround him with any real talent. In his age 26-season, which was the dawn of his prime, his two best supporting players were Mo Williams and Antwan Jamison, hardly a championship roster.
Although he could’ve handled how he let everybody know his decision a bit better, and not made it a nationally televised event, going to Miami was the only legitimate option for him.
Durant’s decision, on the other hand, is mind-boggling to say the least, and truly a cowardly act.
After coming within minutes of taking down the 73-win Warriors, Durant’s pathetic performances in Games 6 and 7 practically gave Golden State, and was the undoing of Oklahoma City in the end.
The devastating loss can be placed squarely on his shoulders, and instead of coming back stronger than ever and taking down Golden State, he jumped ship and joined them.
He left a team that had even improved since the end of the season, after a trade for Victor Oladipo changed the landscape of everything, in the minds of many. And it looked for awhile as though it had changed everything. Reports were that KD was almost positive that he would re-sign, and those reports stood true all the way until the final day leading up to the decision, where many league sources felt that the Warriors were gaining ground in the chase for the former MVP.
In 2010, LeBron did everything in his power to recruit other superstars to the Cavaliers. But when faced with the choice of Miami or Cleveland, every non-Ohio native in this country choses Miami every single time. And so when Bosh and Wade went to Miami, LeBron was left with no choice. Therefore, “The Decision” can’t be considered betrayal.
And we all know that LeBron eventually came back to the Land, fulfilled his prophecy as “The Chosen One” and brought Cleveland a long-awaited title. But Durant went to a 73-win team, where winning a championship will hardly mean anything for his legacy. The trophy is already put on a platter for him.
And he can never return to Oklahoma City after this, where he has previously been acclaimed as their prodigal son. Not after betraying them like this.