LeBron James returning home to Cleveland

(Reuters) – LeBron James is returning to the Cleveland Cavaliers, four years after he left his home state to join the Miami Heat, he announced today.

The NBA’s biggest star made the announcement in a first-person essay published in Sports Illustrated, in stark contrast to his televised decision four years ago, for which he was heavily criticized.

During his time in Miami, James led a star-studded Heat team to two NBA championships and four Eastern Conference titles but Sports Illustrated’ s banner headline “I’m Coming Home” explained his decision to go back to Cleveland.

“Before anyone ever cared where I would play basketball, I was a kid from Northeast Ohio. It’s where I walked. It’s where I ran. It’s where I cried. It’s where I bled. It holds a special place in my heart. People there have seen me grow up,” James wrote.

LeBron James
LeBron James

“I sometimes feel like I’m their son. Their passion can be overwhelming. But it drives me. I want to give them hope when I can. I want to inspire them when I can. My relationship with Northeast Ohio is bigger than basketball. I didn’t realize that four years ago. I do now.”

The Heat, Phoenix Suns, Houston Rockets, Dallas Mavericks and Los Angeles Lakers had also expressed interest in signing James, who is widely regarded as the best basketball player on the planet.

The frenzy over the 29-year-old forward’s eventual landing spot was the biggest the NBA had seen since James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh all signed contracts to team up in Miami in 2010.

James, who was on the losing end of a humbling five-game defeat by the San Antonio Spurs in last month’s NBA Finals, opted out of the final two years of his contract with Miami to become a free agent who could negotiate with any team.

“These past four years helped raise me into who I am. I became a better player and a better man,” James, who grew up in Akron, Ohio, said about his time with the Heat.

“I will always think of Miami as my second home. Without the experiences I had there, I wouldn’t be able to do what I’m doing today.”

James, a 10-time NBA All-Star who was drafted first overall by Cleveland in 2003, has averaged 27.5 points, 7.2 rebounds and 6.9 assists per game in 11 NBA seasons.

His decision to rejoined the Cavs is expected to dramatically shift the balance of power in the NBA with bookmakers reacting swiftly to the news.

Cleveland, which has never won an NBA title in 44 years of existence, was listed as the 4-1 favorite to win next season’s NBA while Miami blew out to odds of 50-1.

More in Sports

The Guyana players are ecstatic at becoming overall champs for a 12th successive time.

Guyana crowned overall junior squash champions for 12th time

Despite failing to win the girls team title Guyana yesterday retained the overall team title at the annual junior Maples Caribbean squash championships for an incredible and unprecedented 12th successive year.

Opener Kraigg Brathwaite defends a delivery during his top score of 74 on the third day of the opening Test against India yesterday. (Photo courtesy WICB)

Dowrich shines but Windies battling to avoid defeat

NORTH SOUND, Antigua, CMC – Wicketkeeper Shane Dowrich struck his second half-century in only his third Test but West Indies were staring at a possible innings defeat after being forced to follow-on by India, on the second day of the opening Test here yesterday.

default placeholder

Contrsating wins for Bounty GCC, Hikers and GCC Vintage

Bounty Georgetown Cricket Club (GCC), Hikers and GCC Vintage secured contrasting wins when the Lucozade Indoor Hockey Championship continued on Friday at the National Gymnasium on Mandela Avenue.

default placeholder

Riddim Squad, Camptown win by walkovers

Riddim Squad and Camptown secured walkover wins when the Georgetown Football Association (GFA) Stag Beer League continued yesterday at the Georgetown Football Club (GFC) ground in Bourda.

default placeholder

Wolf’s Warriors Masters stop Floodlights

Wolf Warriors Masters secured an upset win over Floodlights Softball Cricket team last Sunday when the Wolf’s Warriors Challenge Cup softball tournament continued at various venues.

23 July 2016; Zouks captain Daren Sammy (C) celebrates the wicket of Ahmed Shahzad (out of shot) as Andre Fletcher (R) completes the catch and Kyle Hope (L) looks on during Match 22 of the Hero Caribbean Premier League St Lucia Zouks v Barbados Tridents at the Daren Sammy Cricket Stadium in Gros Islet, St Lucia. Photo by Ashley Allen/Sportsfile

Sammy stars again as Zouks sink Tridents

GROS ISLET, St Lucia, CMC – St Lucia Zouks closed in on the top four when they cruised to their second straight home win with an easy seven-wicket verdict over Barbados Tridents in the Caribbean Premier League here yesterday.

Comments

About these comments

The comments section is intended to provide a forum for reasoned and reasonable debate on the newspaper's content and is an extension of the newspaper and what it has become well known for over its history: accuracy, balance and fairness. We reserve the right to edit or delete comments which contain attacks on other users, slander, coarse language and profanity, and gratuitous and incendiary references to race and ethnicity.



Stay updated! Follow Stabroek News on Facebook or Twitter.

Get the day's headlines from SN in your inbox every morning: