LeBron James deserved every ounce of criticism he received when he left Cleveland in 2010 because it was all about him. He joined hands with ESPN, turned a decision into The Decision and thumbed his nose at Cleveland. He wasn't just disloyal to his hometown. He was disrespectful.
James effectively turned Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert into a sympathetic figure who ripped LeBron and carried the message of frustrated fans. Three years ago, James returned with the idea he would win a title with Cleveland, while mending fences and cleaning up his image back home.
LeBron completed his mission, leading the Cavs to three straight NBA finals and one championship, but he's all but gone after this season. He's likely headed for Los Angeles with the Lakers clearing cap space for him, the Clippers hiring Jerry West to recruit him and the Cavs shaking up their front office without consulting him.
Look for LeBron to turn the tables on Gilbert, who will make his decision to leave easy after the owner showed little loyalty toward his top people. Gilbert will deserve criticism he gets for making it all about him and losing the NBA's best player – twice.