Hey, LeBron. Believe it or not I represent a large quotient of Orlando folks who don't like you. But I have a proposal for you that forces me to swallow a lot of pride...sign with the Orlando Magic.
Believe it or not, there was a time I supported you.
I remember when you were young how you were a huge Penny Hardaway fan. Anfernee will forever be my favorite basketball player ever.
I remember venturing out to a sports bar on International Drive during the 2007 playoffs where you single-handedly knocked out the Detroit Pistons. A Pistons team that ended up tormenting our Magic franchise for over half a decade. So I was more than thrilled to watch you dethrone them.
I remember your 'The LeBrons' campaign. Those were surprisingly funny and creative.
Somewhere between that and those damn puppet commercials of fake you and fake Kobe did it start going downhill. The basketball commercial market was over-saturated with you, and you hadn't even won a ring yet.
I remember basking in the joy of not only the Magic knocking out your Cavaliers in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals in 2009 on my 21st birthday, but savoring in your immaturity for not shaking hands with your opponents. Then failing to properly explain your way out of it.
I honestly didn't have an issue with 'The Decision' because I knew the funds made from the event were all going to charity. My obvious qualm with your 2010 free agency is that you went to Orlando's vehemently hated rival... the Miami Heat. That was the main reason why it was easy for Magic fans to boo you, you were on that other Sunshine State team.
I thanked the basketball gods when you lost to the Mavericks in the 2011 Finals, and being dethroned by the Spurs just a few weeks ago. I cursed those same basketball gods when you greatly helped Miami win its second and third NBA championships in '12 and '13. It's a 3-0 Heat trophy advantage over Orlando and that doesn't sit well with me and a lot of other Central Florida natives. We're starving for a championship.
I'm willing to bury the hatchet if you are. Start over. Clean slate. Come to Orlando, erase your perceived image of egoism and whining. You saw how well we shielded Dwight Howard's image and kept it as sparkling clean as possible. Los Angeles and Houston can't and has not done that. No matter what you did with the Heat, LeBron, you know that Dwyane Wade is Miami's beloved son. With Jameer Nelson being waived, the longest-tenured Magic player is currently Andrew Nicholson. Win Orlando a championship and you will truly be placed at the pantheon of Orlando sports and public figures.
JUST ONE NBA CHAMPIONSHIP!
Preferably one from an 82-game regular season and not a Lockout year.
We already have enough bandwagon Heat fans in Orlando solely because of your success and stature in the basketball world, LeBron. They'll will be chomping at the bit to buy a Magic jersey with your name and number on it if you sign with this franchise.
You wouldn't even need to sacrifice any money. You can get a maximum contract and still have the supporting cast around you more than suitable enough to win a championship this season. How does this starting five look:
Nikola Vucevic - Age 23
Aaron Gordon - Age 18
Victor Oladipo - Age 22
Elfrid Payton - Age 20
Boom. So much transition offense, so much potential for a legendary defense. Oladipo is a young Dwyane Wade. Then off the bench you have a 22-year-old Tobias Harris (who is a lot like Carmelo Anthony), a 21-year-old Evan Fournier, a 21-year-old Maurice Harkless, a 24-year-old Kyle O'Quinn, and more. If you come, LeBron, we can round out the roster with solid veterans who will be craving for a ring knowing that any team that has your services will be in one of the best positions to raise a championship banner.
You're 29 years old. You can carry the Magic franchise to a dynasty if you so choose. It'll be your team. No mention of the 'Big 3'. You're the star. It'll be like in Cleveland except this Magic team will be better than any of those Cavaliers squads. When you get older, if you choose to stick around some more, you'll have the younger guys happily carry a larger load and continue to grow your dominating legacy.
Come to Orlando, LeBron, and you very could be the first Magic player to ever have his jersey retired. You'll have statues, artwork, probably a street or two dedicated to you if you help this franchise reach its ultimate goal. The city is growing, and it can use a community ambassador such as yourself. I'm sure your kids love our theme parks. Orlando is a sanctuary from the chaos that comes with living in an enormous city. Come to Orlando, LeBron, and put the 'King' in Magic Kingdom.