After four seasons and two championships with the Miami Heat, LeBron James opted to return home to Cleveland in the summer of 2014. That decision (a reversal of “The Decision”) stunned many, as he was leaving Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh to join a Cavs team that the season prior had gone 33-49, with the best player being a young Kyrie Irving.
Now in his third season back with the Cavs, James opting to return to Cleveland doesn’t seem so confounding as he’s gone to back-to-back NBA Finals and brought the Cavs their first title in team history by overcoming a 3-1 deficit to the Golden State Warriors in the 2016 NBA Finals. While James is happy back in Cleveland, the Heat are still trying to pick up the pieces following James’ sudden departure three years ago.
Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade are now both gone from the organization, and Pat Riley and Erik Spoelstra have been left to figure out how to handle a rebuild. In an interview with Harvey Araton of The Vertical in which he offered thoughts on and advice to Magic Johnson taking over the Lakers, Riley admitted that of all of the things that have happened in his tenure with Miami, James leaving as a free agent in 2014 remains shocking to him.