The DWN Fantasy Football Guru: My 900 to Cleveland and LBJ

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Nick Lesogor is the resident Fantasy Football analyst for Dirty Water News
Recent Resume: 2010 Fantasy Football Champion (10 Team Standard League), 2x Playoff Team (2012, 2013: 10-Team Standard League), 1x Playoff Team (12-Team 1pt PPR League)
Co-Host of the Dirty Water News Fantasy Football Show w/ Steve Picco
You can follow him on twitter @NickLesogor

My relationship with Northeast Ohio is bigger than basketball. I didn’t realize that four years ago. I do now.

My tirades to friends and family while watching any game #6 was in were often obscenity-laced and anger-filled. Many people would explain said tirades as how I’m a “hater” or I realize how great he is and that’s why I feel the way I do. I always said he was underrated and one point proclaimed to anyone with two ears: “He’ll be the greatest  player in the United States’ four major sports to never win an NBA title.” I’ll admit, that may have been both 1.) a bit premature, and 2.) in the “hater” column. Whoops. Ah well, they can’t all be wins.

I’m a fantasy football analyst. I’m by no means a credible NBA source of stats and information. If you need a running back to start off waivers in a week 10 bind? I’m your guy. How many rebounds did Zydrunas ilgauskas average in the 2009 NBA playoffs?! Hell if I know. LeBron James’ free agency crossed sports borders all over the country and geographical borders the world over. The greatest player since MJ and (arguably) Kobe Bryant, he’s a polarizing figure. For the greater part of a week and half, die hards and the occasional sports fans were glued to their tv’s and computer screens checking to see where LBJ would be landing. To put things into perspective: Kim is a friend of mine I met here in Ontario. She teams with her husband Dan to put on one of the better street performing shows I’ve ever seen. She’s from Chicago but is based overseas. During a night out yesterday, she asked me “Why do so many people hate LeBron James?” Whether you know him, basketball, or nothing about either; it’s interesting. Everyone wants to know: is he returning home to the great fans of Cleveland or staying in the lights and nightlife of Miami to play with fans that show up to games twenty minutes late and leave fifteen minutes early? After many days of “LeBron watch” which was like nothing I’d ever seen, he decided to return where he’s truly loved. “King” James is a Cavalier.

Before Cavalier fans stop reading this because they think the above paragraph will follow with me dumping on LeBron James, I’ll say this: just keep reading. Like LeBron, maybe I’ll surprise you.

Anyone who knows me will tell you how proud I am to be from Marshfield, Massachusetts. The small beach town with little New York-like boroughs will forever stay close to my heart. It’s a one of a kind place to me where I still live to this day. For that aspect, I can COMPLETELY relate to him. Four years ago, young LBJ embarrassed his hometown on tv, spit in their face, and stomped their faces in the proverbial mud before throwing his Cleveland jersey on the back of their heads and packing up for Miami, Florida. Today? He’s coming home. And as much as I hate the man personally, I can’t do anything but respect it. One person on twitter proclaimed “If I was a Cleveland fan, I wouldn’t forgive him.” As if LeBron murdered his whole family. It’s fascinating how far people can take sports; refusing to forgive a player for leaving their team. Some people, or “fans” miss the point, are ignorant in doing so, and enjoy every bit of it.

LBJ is older now. Wiser. More mature. He meant every word in that essay. He cleared the air with owner Dan Gilbert; a situation only two wise, mature men could make happen. Some people truly love, cherish, and respect where they come from. He’s well on his way to making up for four years ago. Would a few titles help that? Most definitely. But for now? He’s off to a great start. Everybody loves a happy ending.. Aside from the tweeter I mentioned above, anyway. He did it the right way this time. The essay hit on every point, answered every question, and even had the happy ending.

As I said on Facebook:
Cleveland sports fans are far more passionate and more dedicated than Heat fans. Between Johnny Football and #23, they’re about to have a great few years being hometown sports fans. If anything aside from fun and successful, it’ll at least be entertaining. From ?Boston? to you; have fun guys, you deserve it. And congratulations.

I respect him more today than I ever have (by far). He made the right decision for his career, the fans, and more importantly, his family. I’ll still root against the “King“, I still don’t want him to win another NBA Championship. But today? You’ve earned my respect. I’m only one person LeBron, and you obviously don’t care about me; but I guarantee you i’m not the only one.  My friend Brandon put it well today by saying “My hatred for Lebron stemmed from The Decision. Now I can say I just dislike Lebron.” The tirades will continue. Not nearly as anger-filled or obscenity-laced, maybe not even as often, but they’ll continue.

For today? They stop. Well done, LBJ.. well done.