Tonight LeBron James returned triumphantly to Quicken Loans Arena, the venue he electrified for seven seasons before abruptly fleeing in what was surely the second most villainous act in the history of Cleveland sports. With torrential boos raining down, James and the Miami Heat eviscerated his former team by a final margin of 118-90. James himself poured in 38 points on 15-25 shooting, including a stunning third quarter in which he scored 24 on a barrage of jumpers, dunks and acrobatic 'and-ones.' That display of athleticism turned a mere blowout into a complete humiliation. It was exactly the kind of angry, focused, vindictive performance that Cavs fans had hoped he would bring to the 2010 playoffs, when James and the Cavs were humbled by a tougher minded Boston Celtics team. In the wake of that loss, the Greatest Cavalier Ever cried uncle, said fuck you to his fans and bolted to the hallowed basketball grounds of Miami, Florida.
The early returns for Miami have not met expectations, but on this night, in a regular season contest against a rebuilding team struggling to find its identity, James was superb.