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LeBron James Announces He Is Going Back to Cleveland
This is really happening. Today, LeBron James announced in a piece written for Sports Illustrated that he is officially returning to the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Go ahead, take a moment to pinch yourself if you want. I know this all seemed utterly impossible four years ago, after The Decision and The Letter and The Burnings. But I assure you, you’re not dreaming.
Here’s LeBron explaining The Decision 2.0 in his own words:
“My relationship with Northeast Ohio is bigger than basketball. I didn’t realize that four years ago. I do now… If I had to do it all over again, I’d obviously do things differently, but I’d still have left… Without the experiences I had there, I wouldn’t be able to do what I’m doing today…
“To make the move I needed the support of my wife and my mom, who can be very tough. The letter from Dan Gilbert, the booing of the Cleveland fans, the jerseys being burned—seeing all that was hard for them. My emotions were more mixed. It was easy to say, ‘OK, I don’t want to deal with these people ever again.’ But then you think about the other side. What if I were a kid who looked up to an athlete, and that athlete made me want to do better in my own life, and then he left? How would I react? I’ve met with Dan, face-to-face, man-to-man. We’ve talked it out. Everybody makes mistakes. I’ve made mistakes as well. Who am I to hold a grudge?”
When you get a moment, you really should read the entire piece over at SI. LeBron obviously read my list of reasons why he should go back to Cleveland and heeded my advice. But for now, let’s talk about the implications.
First off, the Miami Heat are done. People have been reporting for days that Chris Bosh has a max deal lined up in Houston and was just waiting to hear what LeBron was doing. Now that the King is going back to his home state, the Boshtrich is going to go back to his, joining Dwight Howard and James Harden in Texas and making the Rockets instant contenders.
As for Cleveland, they already cleared salary cap space by dealing Jarret Jack, and Luol Deng is now totally redundant. However, there were reports earlier this week that the Cavs were getting a deal for Kevin Love lined up in the event that LeBron did accept their offer. And if that’s true, it could be why LeBron mentioned Kyrie Irving, Tristan Thompson, Dion Waiters, and Anderson Varejao in his SI piece, but NOT Andrew Wiggins.
Could the top overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft be headed to Minnesota for Kevin Love? That’s my guess. And if I’m right, look out, Eastern Conference. A new Big Three of James, Irving, and Love would be pretty potent.