Ronn Torossian on the LeBron James Homecoming

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Ronn Torossian
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Ronn Torossian on the LeBron James Homecoming

It’s difficult to imagine a more awkward and painful departure than when LeBron James left Cleveland four years ago for his hometown team. The dramatic TV announcement, the two-hour-long prime time party, and the promise to create a dynasty in Miami really stung Cavalier fans. But, Ronn Torossian says King James’ recent announcement that he would be coming home for the 2014-15 NBA season is a complete about face. It had all the grace and humility, tact and poise that his departure lacked.

There is no doubt that LeBron James is the best basketball player in the world. But, until last week, he was definitely not the best-regarded ballplayer. His departure from Cleveland was a public relations disaster everywhere but Miami. He may have created the Big Three in Miami, but he also made NBA fans everywhere cheer for Anyone Playing the Heat. He may have won two rings in south Florida, but he also filled the LeBron Haters bandwagon to overflowing.

Now, in one carefully worded missive, he may have vacated that particular bandwagon for good. James’ letter, published in Sports Illustrated, was personal, passionate, and polite. He was honest, and charming, and even apologetic. He recognized that he handled his departure poorly, and immediately set about repairing that relationship. From a PR perspective, it was a masterpiece.

James talked about how he had learned some things about life and about communication in the past four years. He was nostalgic and commiserate, but it was one line that really jumped off the page and brought the whole thing together:

I’m not having a press conference or a party. After this, it’s time to get to work.”

One thing no one – even the most ardent haters – ever questions about LeBron is his talent and work ethic. Now, he was promising to bring both back home in a big way. With that line alone, everyone in Cleveland has to be smiling … and it makes me glad the Knicks were able to keep ‘Melo.

Ronn Torossian believes King James has won the offseason PR battle – although the life-long NY’er will continue to sit court-side and root for the Knicks.

- Ronn Torossian is a Special Contributor to the Gambling911.com Website

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