It’s long been assumed that LeBron James’ family and circle of advisors has preferred he eventually return to the Cleveland Cavaliers. From an instagram post by his wife, Savannah Brinson, that some thought implied his free agency choice to a report that his agent, Rich Paul, was pushing James that direction, The King’s decision seemed anything but just his own. However, LeBron’s business partner, Maverick Carter, told ESPN’s Jason Whitlock that his colleague’s seemingly final basketball destination was “made in his heart.”
Carter appeared on Whitlock’s Real Talk podcast earlier today. Despite speculation otherwise before and after the announcement, Carter insisted that James’ decision to sign with the Cavs was his alone.
“This was a decision that LeBron made in his heart,” Carter told ESPN.com’s Jason Whitlock on the Real Talk podcast. “We didn’t push him to do it. We don’t push him to do anything. If he asks our opinion or what did we think about the pros and the cons, we help him think through it. We don’t push him.”…
“Listen,” Carter said, “LeBron’s a 29-year-old man with lots of money, got a wife, two kids, one on the way. He makes his own decisions. He doesn’t need anyone pushing him any way, and a guy like that, you’re not going to push him either way. We’ll help him think through things and help him see through things, but he makes his own decision in his heart. Because, ultimately, he has to live with it. I’m not the one who has to show up and play games for any team.”
James is notoriously close to the childhood friends with whom he grew up in Akron, OH. Carter, the head of marketing firm LRMR, has been close with LeBron for decades; Paul has, too. James is a noted believer in the phrase “no new friends,” and his inner-circle of life-long friends turned business partners and advisors is supreme evidence of that fact.
Many assumed their influence – coupled with his family’s, of course – on the four-time MVP was enough to sway James home. Carter firmly maintains otherwise, confirming the overarching theme of LeBron’s letter in Sports Illustrated.
“The decision about Cleveland was bigger than basketball. It was in his heart.”
And of James’ relationship with Dwyane Wade:
“Their friendship goes beyond basketball,” Carter said. “It’s bigger than basketball.”
Whether or not LeBron’s decision to return to Cleveland was influenced by his family and friends is irrelevant now – The King is home either way. But anyone that believed James would make such an important, historic decision based solely on the wishes of others was being naive, and Carter’s words certainly support that belief.
What do you think?
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