CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - As LeBron says goodbye to Cleveland for the second time, it's great to see things really have changed over eight years.
The shock of the decision last time around, coupled with the bizarre live television announcement, didn't help things. But I think the biggest frustration then was the sense of unfinished business: the Cavs hadn't yet been the NBA Champs.
But in his second stop in Cleveland, it was a different story: four trips to the finals in four years, including the 2016 title.
And there's no question how much the city has changed during those years. LeBron didn't just help fans sleep better, he brought business into the area, playing a role in the re-energized downtown.
Don't forget the last time LeBron left, the team was left in tatters. That's not the situation this time around. We still have an all-star in Kevin Love, a lottery pick in Collin Sexton and a bunch of up-and-coming players. While a title could be hard to envision next year, I could see this team fighting to make the playoffs.
With all that in mind, it's good to see an overwhelming feeling of thanks coming from Northeast Ohio.
LeBron grew up here, and even if he never comes back--and I think he will--he left things in better shape than when he got here.
That's all any of us can ask about anyone.
Congrats and good luck, LeBron!