The new-look Cleveland Cavaliers open their season tonight, playing at home against the New Your Knicks. When I was driving home from work tonight, one of the local radio stations announced that it would be carrying the game.
“That’s odd,” I thought. I don’t think any station carried the Cavs games last year.
And then I remembered: LeBron is back.
If you ever wondered about the impact of one player on a team, a franchise, and a city, consider the LeBron Effect. When LeBron James announced that he was returning to Cleveland, it energized the city and the Cavaliers franchise, produced huge ticket sales and set the roster dominoes to falling. Now the Cavs have a changed lineup and a changed attitude — and so do their long-suffering fans. My friends up in Cleveland say that the Cavs are by far the toughest ticket in town.
With LeBron, Kyrie Irving, and Kevin Love, the Cavs expect to contend for an NBA championship — which would be the first championship a Cleveland sports team has earned in 50 years. Those expectations are a heavy burden, but LeBron James is used to the pressure. It’s all just part of the LeBron Effect.