BOSTON (AP/CBS) — LeBron James has made his long-awaited second decision.
And King James is heading home to Cleveland.
James left the Cavaliers four summers ago, announcing that he would be taking his talents to South Beach in the much criticized special, “The Decision,” on ESPN. Friday’s announcement was much more subtle, coming in an essay on SI.com and Cleveland fans are now probably upset at themselves for burning those “No. 23, James” jerseys four years ago.
“I sometimes feel like I’m their son,” James said of Ohio sports fans. “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.”
James said he does not regret going to Miami, and he’d do it again if given the opportunity. He said he simply would have announced it differently.
“I’m not having a press conference or a party,” James said. “After this, it’s time to get to work.”
LeBron returns to the Cavaliers with a pair of NBA titles on his resume after advancing to the NBA Finals in each of four seasons in Miami. He was named Finals MVP twice and won three of his four league MVPs while a member of the Heat. He won his first MVP award in 2010, becoming the first Cleveland Cavalier to win the award.
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Now, he’s hoping to bring Cleveland their first NBA title, something he couldn’t do his first seven years in the NBA.
“When I left Cleveland, I was on a mission,” James said. “I was seeking championships, and we won two. But Miami already knew that feeling. Our city hasn’t had that feeling in a long, long, long time. My goal is still to win as many titles as possible, no question. But what’s most important for me is bringing one trophy back to Northeast Ohio.”
James’ agent met with several teams during this free agency period, but the star admitted Friday that his decision really only came down to Miami or Cleveland.
” 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,” James said. “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 has averaged 27.5 points, 7.2 rebounds and 6.9 assists per game over his 11-year career. He’s a 10-time All-Star, and has been named to the All-NBA First Team eight times in his career.
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