City Sports Report

King James Returns Home

Lebron James Returns to Cleveland Cavaliers (Photo by Marc Rasbury)
Lebron James Returns to Cleveland Cavaliers (Photo by Marc Rasbury)

Lebron James Returns to Cleveland Cavaliers (Photo by Marc Rasbury)

The suspense, drama and anticipation is now over as the King has decided to return home to Ohio. LeBron James said via a Sports Illustrated essay on Friday that he will be coming back to where it all began. And just like that, Cleveland is back in the hunt in the NBA’s Eastern Conference. All of Cleveland is happy, but this time the scenario is much different for James.

When LeBron left Cleveland for the Miami Heat four years ago, he was worried about being ringless and leaving a legacy of a great player who could never win the big game. That led him to make the decision to leave and join Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh in Miami. As he acknowledged, he definitely should have done it a different way and handled it better, but the feeling in 2010 was Cleveland was not the place he could win a title. Who can really blame him for those thoughts? The Cleveland sports scene has not seen any type of championship since 1964 when the Cleveland Browns won an NFL championship. In addition, it seemed like the Cavaliers management back then was not necessarily invested in bringing a title to town. Keep in mind, this is the same organization that did not trade big man JJ Hickson for Amar’e Stoudemire, who was healthy and playing very well at the time for the Phoenix Suns. The King was ready to win and Cleveland was not the choice place to do so in his eyes. It was time to take his talents elsewhere.

Fast forward to now and LeBron has won two championships and appeared in four NBA Finals in a row. He opted out of his deal in Miami along with Wade and Bosh this summer for what people thought was another sacrifice of money to retool the team. But as time went on, it seemed like indications and information began to point to a Cleveland return. It all came to a head today with his article, but unlike his last exit from a team, LeBron handled things even better. He notified Miami brass of his intentions instead of leaving them in the dark (something he did not have to do), letting them know he was going back to Cleveland. He even flew back to Miami from Las Vegas with Wade (who was out in Vegas while LeBron was holding his annual Skills Academy) and told him about his decision while they were in flight. But what is also different is the mindset of LeBron heading back. He had other thoughts outside of basketball. He began to look at his growing family and thoughts of where he wanted to raise them. And with that, he knew it was time to go home. Even though he knows it may take a while to be a true championship team, he still relished the opportunity to go home and put on the jersey he wore for seven seasons. In 2010, you may not have heard him even say anything like he is saying at this point and it is great to see him grow. He is invested in taking Cleveland to the ultimate level as opposed to lamenting in the issues of the past.

LeBron James is no doubt the best player on the planet and he has definitely grown mentally over the last four years in Miami. But his legacy, in his eyes, was not complete without a return to his hometown. He left as Public Enemy #1 in Ohio and he now returns as the knight in shining armor to a town and area of the county he loves. And with his return, the dreams of a championship have re-ignited in Cleveland. Ladies and gentlemen, the King has come home!

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