As somebody who grew up an avid Browns and Cavs fan, I have a few humble opinions on these matters. I want to reiterate that these are just my loose opinions relating to a few of these topics. I don't think "The Decision" itself or Lebron's leaving had a direct affect on the reputation of the city, rather it served to reinforce peoples opinions that Cleveland is a crappy broken-down old town (which breaks my heart because I love Cleveland). Also, I think creepy *** Dan Gilbert and his petulant rantings/tweetings about Lebron had much more of a negative impact on the reputation of the organization than the fans....and if you really wanna discuss the economic hardship surrounding that region then Gilbert himself is a great place to start given the subprime and predator mortgages the Quicken Loans dealt in.
As far as Lebron himself goes, he once said in an interview something to the effect that he disliked or didn't have any strong feelings for Cleveland because he felt they looked down on Akron. None the less, he did what he thought was best for him and his, but he was a god there and if he would have just brought one championship home to Cleveland then he would have been a living legend. I use to hope that something untimely would happen to him, but after he won a championship it just turned into perpetual loathing rather than a searing hatred. Cleveland whiffed on Brady Quinn and wasn't cool enough for Lebron, one day we'll find our star that wins in Cleveland, but maybe our prerequisite that cleveland's sport savior actually be from inside the state should be abandoned.