The Perfect Gentleman Issue 6 - Page 32

Gentleman James Greetings, There is probably no US city that has taken its share of knocks than Cleveland, Ohio. It is America’s 48th largest city, located on the shores of Lake Erie, and home to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. It has been called “the mistake on the lake.” In 1969, its river caught fire because of pollution. The event tarnished the city’s image. America’s economic downturn in 2008 decimated Cleveland neighborhoods and jobs became scarce as companies closed. To top it all off, none of Cleveland’s three major professional sports teams had won a championship in 52 years. This summer, a hometown hero ended the long losing streak by leading the city’s National Basketball Association (NBA) team, the Cleveland Cavaliers, to a nail-biting 93-89 win over the Golden State Warriors. The 31-year-old LeBron James, nick-named “King James” as a high school player, is a NBA superstar, multiple record holder, and has been ranked as one of the world’s most influential athletes. Now, LeBron deserves the new title of “Gentleman James.” He has demonstrated the traits of a perfect gentleman both on and off the basketball court. First, he had to earn back the trust of Cleveland fans. Though a Cavalier’s first round draft choice in 2003, he left for a warmer climate and more a promising team, the Miami Heat in Florida in 2010, after becoming a free agent. Fans revolted by burning LeBron jerseys, cursing his name, and calling him a traitor. With the Heat, he won two back-to-back championships (2012, 2013) while Cleveland’s pro teams continued their losing streaks. When he returned to Cleveland in 2014, he promised he would win a championship for the city. He apologized for how he left the Cavaliers. A gentleman faces the consequences of his actions. The Cavs came close last year in the NBA finals but extensive team injuries made victory elusive. The city rallied again around LeBron. The optimism ran high - so high that Clevelanders began calling the city “Believeland.” LeBron worked hard - a gentleman never settles for second best. Under LeBron’s leadership and with a healthy, top-notch team, the Cavaliers had a 57-25 season this year. The team made it back to the NBA finals. A gentleman always leads. 32 Our Man in the USA