LeBron James has decided to return to the Cleveland Cavaliers. In an exclusive story scribed by James (with Lee Jenkins) in Sports Illustrated, The King pledges allegiance to Northeast Ohio and says he’s “coming home” to play for the Cavs.
James makes it clear in his piece that despite the pain of leaving Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh, and the entire Miami Heat organization, the lure of his hometown was the ultimate trump-card in his second decision. James says that he always imagined that he’d end his career in Cleveland, and makes no promises of a championship.
I went to Miami because of D-Wade and CB. We made sacrifices to keep UD. I loved becoming a big bro to Rio. I believed we could do something magical if we came together. And that’s exactly what we did!We are brothers for life. I also want to thank Micky Arison and Pat Riley for giving me an amazing four years…
I always believed that I’d return to Cleveland and finish my career there. I just didn’t know when. After the season, free agency wasn’t even a thought. But I have two boys and my wife, Savannah, is pregnant with a girl. I started thinking about what it would be like to raise my family in my hometown. I looked at other teams, but I wasn’t going to leave Miami for anywhere except Cleveland. The more time passed, the more it felt right. This is what makes me happy.
James also says that he holds no grudges against Dan Gilbert for the letter from 2010, nor the Cavs fans that expressed such outrage in his orginal decision to leave by burning jerseys and raining him with heavy boos. He reiterates that he made mistakes four years ago, too.
The letter from Dan Gilbert, the booing of the Cleveland fans, the jerseys being burned — seeing all that was hard for them. My emotions were more mixed. It was easy to say, “OK, I don’t want to deal with these people ever again.” But then you think about the other side. What if I were a kid who looked up to an athlete, and that athlete made me want to do better in my own life, and then he left? How would I react? I’ve met with Dan, face-to-face, man-to-man. We’ve talked it out. Everybody makes mistakes. I’ve made mistakes as well. Who am I to hold a grudge?
LeBron’s words end with storybook sentiment. Clearly, this is bigger than basketball for The King.
In Northeast Ohio, nothing is given. Everything is earned. You work for what you have.
I’m ready to accept the challenge. I’m coming home.
What do you think of LeBron’s decision?
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