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Marla Ridenour on Sports

LeBron James finally apologizes, sort of

By Marla Published: May 12, 2011

After scoring the Miami Heat's final 10 points, including two cruical 3s that helped eliminate the Boston Celtics 97-87 Wednesday night in the Eastern Conference semifinals, LeBron James did what he should have done months ago.

He apologized for leaving the Cleveland Cavaliers.

"I knew deep down in my heart, as much as I loved my teammates back in Cleveland and as much as I loved home, I knew it couldn't do it by myself against that team," the Akron native said after the game.

"The way it panned out with all the friends and family and the fans back home, I apologize for the way it happened. I knew this opportunity was once in a lifetime. To be able to come down here and pair with two guys and this organization -- in order for me to move on with my career, that team that we just defeated, we had to go through them."

It was an emotional night for James in getting past the Celtics, who had bedeviled him during his career. He prevailed over Boston in the playoffs for the first time in three tries over a span of four years.

But his apology isn't likely to go over well with his former Cavs teammates or satisfy his former fans.

I wonder how Antawn Jamison and Mo Williams and Anderson Varejao and Larry Hughes and Drew Gooden and Wally Szczerbiak and Delonte West and Shaquille O'Neal feel today after James' revelation that they never played a minute of basketball with The Chosen One.

I wonder how they feel knowing now that James thinks they were worthless parts in his quest for a championship, nowhere near the equals of his new pals in Miami, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh.

I wonder how the Cavs organization and even former general manager Danny Ferry feel knowing that they did nothing to surround James with players to help James win a title. (Those must have been ghosts in wine and gold.)

To his credit, James finally said the words some had been wanting to hear since July 8. Those who know him well -- most notably ESPN's Brian Windhorst -- said Wednesday night was a cathartic moment for James as he finally conquered Boston. This appears the likely end of the Celtics' Big Three, or at least the end of their dominance.

But James' apology still had a fatal flaw  -- the 'I knew I couldn't do it by myself against that team.'' Does that explain why he gave up in Game 5 against Boston last year, because he viewed the rest of the Cavs as so pathetic that the series was unwinnable?

James' words are not likely to soothe the emotions of  those who have turned against him. In fact, the ranks have probably swelled.



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