'I'm Coming Home': LeBron James to Return to Cleveland
It was billed as The Decision II, but this time it had the opposite ending. After leaving his hometown Cavs four years ago to sign with the Miami Heat, LeBron James announced Friday he is going home to Cleveland.
After making it to four straight NBA Finals with Miami, and winning two of them, the 29-year-old James detailed his decision to Sports Illustrated.
"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. 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," said James.
When James left Cleveland in a widely criticized ESPN special, Cavs owner Dan Gilbert responded with a scathing public letter, calling James a "coward."
In his announcement today, the four-time MVP said he has spoken with Gilbert, "face-to-face, man-to-man" and doesn't hold a grudge.
After the Heat lost to San Antonio in the NBA Finals, James opted out of his contract to become an unrestricted free agent.
He also announced the move with this Instagram photo:
On The Real Story this afternoon, we heard from sportscaster Jim Gray, who hosted the ESPN special in 2010 when James famously said he would "take his talents to South Beach."
Gray called James' return a "great story," saying it will "really be something" if James can bring the city its first sports title since the Indians in 1948.
Let us know what you think of LeBron's big move and watch the interview with Gray above.