LeBron James will return to play for the Cleveland Cavaliers.
The four-time league MVP told SI.com today that he is returning to the Cleveland Cavaliers.
"My relationship with Northeast Ohio is bigger than basketball," James told SI.com in a first-person essay. "I didn't realize that four years ago. I do now."
To read the full article, click HERE.
James became a free agent after spending four seasons with the Miami Heat.
The Akron native began his career in Cleveland and played there seven years, winning the MVP title twice and leading the Cavaliers to the franchise’s only NBA finals appearance.
James then went to Miami as a free agent, leading the Heat to the NBA finals in each of his four seasons there. They won the NBA title twice during that span.
"When I left Cleveland, I was on a mission," James said in the SI.com first-person essay. "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."
The essay also addressed negative statements made by Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert after James defected to Miami and whether there would be a grudge against the owner or the fans who booed and burned jerseys. "Everybody makes mistakes. I’ve made mistakes as well. Who am I to hold a grudge?" James said.
James said he always wanted to end his career in Cleveland. But he decided to make the move now because he and his wife, Savannah, are expecting a girl. LeBron already has two boys. "I started thinking about what it would be like to raise my family in my hometown," he said. "I looked at other teams, but I wasn’t going to leave Miami for anywhere except Cleveland."
While James wants to win, he said he is "not promising a championship."
"I know how hard that is to deliver," he said in his SI.com essay. "We’re not ready right now. No way. Of course, I want to win next year, but I’m realistic. It will be a long process, much longer than it was in 2010."
His return to Cleveland involves more than basketball or even his family, James said.
"I have a responsibility to lead, in more ways than one, and I take that very seriously," he said in his SI.com essay. "My presence can make a difference in Miami, but I think it can mean more where I’m from. I want kids in Northeast Ohio, like the hundreds of Akron third-graders I sponsor through my foundation, to realize that there’s no better place to grow up. Maybe some of them will come home after college and start a family or open a business. That would make me smile. Our community, which has struggled so much, needs all the talent it can get.
Earlier this week, Cedar Point amusement park announced it would rename one of its roller coasters “King James” after him.
Cedar Point made the offer in the form of this tweet on its Twitter account Wednesday afternoon: “Hey @KingJames - come back to the @cavs and we’ll rename one of our coasters, “King James!” Ball in your court, sir. RT, #Ohio!”
“Over the past few days it has been fun to watch the excitement surrounding the potential and now realized, return of LeBron James to Cleveland," Cedar Point spokesman Bryan Edwards said Friday afternoon. "We stand ready to honor our original tweet. Congratulations Cleveland!”
Cedar Point has yet to decide which coaster will be renamed King James.