LeBron James and I arrived in Cleveland the same year, 2003. That’s where the similarities end, but his recent career choices have helped mine too. I’ve now scored three assignments from The New York Times related to him. My favorite is still the first one, from May, when fans were grieving over the Cavs’ shocking playoff performance and bracing for what come to be known, for better or worse, as The Decision (TM). I was deeply flattered when John Ettorre told me he was surprised that a non-native like myself could capture Cleveland’s history of sports futility. The night of the big announcement, I filed this from the Winking Lizard in LeBron’s neighborhood. Driving home that night I learned of Dan Gilbert’s now infamous response, and this article resulted.