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LeBron James apologizes for “The Decision”

May 12, 2011, 11:18 AM EST

Boston Celtics v Miami Heat - Game Five Getty Images

LeBron James has said before that he regretted how “The Decision” went down, how it was perceived.

Wednesday night, after he was incredibly clutch, after he slayed some demons, after his Heat team knocked off the Boston Celtics, LeBron apologized for The Decision, as reported by Brian Windhorst of ESPN.

“I knew deep down in my heart, as much as I loved my teammates back in Cleveland and as much as I loved home, I knew it couldn’t do it by myself against that team,” James said.

“The way it panned out with all the friends and family and the fans back home, I apologize for the way it happened. I knew this opportunity was once in a lifetime. To be able to come down here and pair with two guys and this organization — in order for me to move on with my career, that team that we just defeated, we had to go through them.

At this point, an apology to Cleveland will fall on deaf ears there. Those that have hardened their hearts against him will not be swayed by this.

And a series between these Heat and the 2010 version of the Celtics that went to the finals may have been different (it certainly would have been a harder road).

Now, while sitting on top of the basketball world for a day, it’s easier for him to say this.

But he uttered the words. And he appears to mean them.

  1. 1historian - May 12, 2011 at 11:42 AM

    ‘The decision’ was a bad idea. LBJ knows this. He has apologized for it more than once.
    He has apologized again and he added that he knew that he would never win an NBA championship with the players at Cleveland. He had the chance of a lifetime, he took it.

    Anyone who still holds what he did against him – that’s your problem, that is NOT his problem.

    Go Bulls, Hawks, Grizzlies, Mavericks, Thunder – ANYBODY BUT MIAMI.

    p.s. – it’s just a game

    • andyhr17 - May 12, 2011 at 11:45 AM

      I think your p.s. is what is lost on so many people.

      • 0bigpoppa0 - May 12, 2011 at 11:57 AM

        I know right…if its just a game…why is he even complaining lol

    • fouldwimmerlaik - May 13, 2011 at 10:21 AM

      No matter what happens, the world will remember Lebron as an arrogant dickhead. At least there is that.

  2. therookie773 - May 12, 2011 at 11:48 AM

    Well, hardened hearts or not, at least there is some type of closure for the Cleveland fans.

    HAHAHAHA JK

  3. swiftb - May 12, 2011 at 11:55 AM

    Its okay for LaBron to aplogize for how it went down but as far as for him making a better decsion for his career he shouldnt have to. As long as he been in the NBA and for him to be as good as he is he should already have had at least 2 rings maybe even 3. Im from his area and im happy to see him getting close to his first. Cleveland wasnt making it easy for him; they wasnt working on no type of trade to give him the help that he needed. If you think about it they used his name and his talent to get to where they are at. They dragged Labron and enough was enough. He did it for the love of the game not to hurt Cleveland. People need to come to fact that was not his intentions.

    • fouldwimmerlaik - May 13, 2011 at 10:23 AM

      “English – The New Foreign Language”

    • solomon151 - May 16, 2011 at 11:51 AM

      “Cleveland wasnt making it easy for him; they wasnt working on no type of trade to give him the help that he needed. If you think about it they used his name and his talent to get to where they are at.”

      WoW, So I guess the Shaq and Jamison deal was not about winning. The only two reason they got beat last year was because he quit and they had a yes man for a coach. Point Blank Period!!!!!!!! And speaking of being a step closer, He was there before and got handled with far less of a team. But I guess it’s not his fault for that either. People please. Why did he feel the need to say he was sorry, after they beat the celtics?? It looks like he wanted to rub the fans in cleveland face in it. Saying look at what I have done now without you. He’s a loser!!!!!!!!!! Go Bulls!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • jcustunner - May 19, 2011 at 6:07 AM

      The Cavs made plenty of effort to put better players around “The Choking One” throughout his tenure in Cleveland. They made the wrong decisions in some instances, like trading for Jamison when there was a trade in place for Amar’e Stoudemire, but they tried desperately every season to get James the tools he needed to get over the hump.

      The tried in vain to sign Ron Artest and Trevor Ariza – both chose warmer destinations. They traded at the deadline in 07-08 shipping Larry Hughes, Shannon Brown (who LeBron didn’t get along with), Cedric Simmons, and Drew Gooden. In that trade they brought in Sczerbiak, Ben Wallace, Donyell Marshall, Delonte West, and Ira Newble. When the trade was made, every basketball talking head claimed it was the right move to get the Cavs the title. Didn’t work, but they tried.

      They added Shaq at the behest of James and traded for Jamison without losing Ilgauskas, a move also approved by James. If anything, the biggest mistake Dan Gilbert made was taking power away from his coach and general manager and relying on James’ opinion.

      Gilbert knew damn well that James was his golden goose and tried in vain to keep him. He built an entirely knew practice facility in the burbs of Cleveland in part to keep James and in part to try and lure free agents.

      I don’t blame LeBron for leaving. That’s his choice. But to act like the Cavs didn’t try to put the right people in place to win titles is absurd and misinformed. How’s your foot taste, because you certainly stuck it in your mouth.

  4. 0bigpoppa0 - May 12, 2011 at 11:56 AM

    I just signed up to give 1historian a big STFU. Doesn’t matter how it went down, doesn’t matter how people took it, doesn’t matter what you think. We’re the one on the Eastern conference finals and Miami couldn’t be happier. Sucks to be you though. LETS GO HEAT! Got my ticket for Game1 secured, so again, sucks to be you buddy.
    Cleveland fans should get over it. Its almost been a year. If they still whining about it then maybe I should call the Whaaaaaambulanceeee!!!

    • savocabol1 - May 12, 2011 at 3:54 PM

      Typical heat fan. Boasting to everyone about the team, buying a ticket to the game, then (im assuming, but probably correct) not showing up to it. Miami’s home attendance numbers (actual attendance, not tickets sold) for the playoffs are a joke. Enjoy your run while it still lasts because in a couple of years, when your purchased superstars leave, your team will be shipped outta that zip code.

      • scorp16 - May 12, 2011 at 6:17 PM

        Miami’s attendance is actually better then Boston’s.

        Before being so ignorant why don’t you check some facts first.

        Miami has this reputation of not being in their seats for tip off. And maybe there is something to that. But there is another side to the coin that is completely the league’s fault.

        The tri-county area is really pretty big and believe it or not there are quite a few season ticket holders coming from Broward, North Broward and Palm Beach counties. Unfortunately all of us just can’t use a personal day, or a sick day, or just leave work an hour early EVERY time the Heat play.

        Anybody who has ever had to deal with Rush Hour Traffic on 95 coming from mid Palm Beach county to downtown Miami (which on a day without traffic is an hour drive) has about a 30% chance of making it to their seat in time for a 7pm tip.

        As for shipping the team out of the zip code………..seems your logic is a bit flawed on that too.
        Let’s see Alonzo and Hardaway……..yep Heat still in the same zip code
        Shaq and Wade…..yep… Still here
        Big Three…….Zip code still the same…

        Zip Code will be the same after this ride is over…WHY
        Because we have a front office that knows how to build a team. Not a front office (ehmmm…Mr Ainge)…that decides to discard it’s most physical player at the trade deadline.

      • heatfan13 - May 12, 2011 at 6:23 PM

        Just to correct you.
        I am a Heat Season Ticket Holder and our attendance is not the problem. I don’t know where you get your facts from, but Miami has sold out both in ticket sales and butts in seats every play-off game since Zo and Hardaway in the 90′s. Trust me that place is jammed packed.
        We have a late arriving mentality down here. (I personally am in my seat before tip-off) The relaxed island life down here is awesome to live in, but not so good to get people in their seats on time. They do get there, and they do go. Just look around with under 5 minutes left in the first quarter and it’s full. I’m not making excuses for these people, I think they are idiots to miss any part of the game, especially with lower level seats. Hell, let me sit down there.
        Sorry to disappoint you, but our “purchased” superstars “chose” to be here and signed multi-year deals for a reason. They are not going anywhere and you can expect that NBA Championships will be coming through Miami for the next few years. Don’t Hate…..

      • scorp16 - May 12, 2011 at 6:27 PM

        Game 1 in Miami- Attendance 20,021
        Game 2 in Miami – Attendance 20,104

        Game 3 in Boston – Attendance 18,624

        That’s attendance not tickets sold. When you have something constructive to add to the blog-come back and try again

      • thestudiokida - May 12, 2011 at 6:40 PM

        Just to add something constructive:

        ESPN reports Miami’s home attendance at 100.9%, fifth in the league behind Dallas, Chicago, Portland & Orlando. Miami’s road attendance is also listed at 100.9% which comes in first and one of only two teams at/over 100%. (L.A. Lakers) Of course that makes them first overall.

      • bsandcs - May 16, 2011 at 12:07 AM

        @scorp16

        TD banknorth only holds 18,624 ppl…so game 3 fan attendance was 100% in boston. not sure your point.

        http://www.onlineseats.com/venue/td-banknorth-garden-fleet-center.htm.

    • thestudiokida - May 12, 2011 at 4:46 PM

      @0bigpopp0 I just wanted to ask… are you going to Chicago? Because that’s where Game 1 is going to be.

    • fouldwimmerlaik - May 13, 2011 at 10:24 AM

      So you have a ticket to game one in Chicago? Wow, you are a true fan.

  5. Sam James - May 12, 2011 at 12:08 PM

    Yet another pseudo-apology, full of the passive voice: “I apologize for the way it happened.” Yeah, it just happened. Politicians are good at this.

    • mytthor - May 12, 2011 at 2:12 PM

      This is not the passive voice.

  6. zrbk - May 12, 2011 at 12:15 PM

    I’m a Celtics fan and anti-Lebron since 2003. However, Lebron totally impressed me last night. We owe him some respects. The decision was doubtlessly the worst thing anyone could’ve done, but there’s no way we can change it any more. Let’s just hope the Cavs can recover soon …

  7. savocabol1 - May 12, 2011 at 12:33 PM

    TOO LITTLE TOO LATE

  8. silk32 - May 12, 2011 at 12:38 PM

    INTERPRETATION: What Dan Gilbert’s “really” meant by his open letter: http://clicky.me/rSI

  9. dgforreal - May 12, 2011 at 12:56 PM

    Good on him I suppose. I never had an issue with him wanting to go to another team, that’s the business side of it and it’s not like he made a lifetime commitment to the city or team.

    My problem was the spectacle he made the whole ordeal into. Yes, he raised some money for charities, but the whole situation seemed extremely self-serving to me.

    Then came the player introductions and party (or whatever you want to call that)which I thought was a bit over the top and focused on Bosh, Wade and James which was too much for me to stomach.

    Congrats Heat fans for the win.

  10. bigtrav425 - May 12, 2011 at 1:48 PM

    Maybe if he would of did some actual “recruiting” like most superstars do he could of had someone else on our team.Besides he is lying to a certain extent anyways its been said by a few people,including that trader and lbj’s boy Windhurst that this playing together thing has been in the works for yrs since the Olympics/World Championships…..If he really means it im glad he finally has matured a lil bit and realized the error of his decision

  11. southbeachtalent - May 12, 2011 at 2:07 PM

    He shouldn’t have, stick with your guns LeBron don’t let the haters get to you. He did what he felt was right at the time. He raised a lot of money for the boys and girls club with his “decision”. Regardless Bulls here we come.

  12. emoreira1969 - May 12, 2011 at 3:59 PM

    Cleveland needs to get a life. Are we going to hear about them evertime Lebron wins until he retires? Free agents are exactly that! Free too go elsewhere if they want a change! Get over it! Go Heat!

    • pl4tinum514 - May 13, 2011 at 8:32 AM

      Keep in mind he was from the area, told everyone he’d be in Cleveland until they won it all, quit right out there on the court for all to see in a playoff series, and then staged the most self serving bullsh-t television special ever produced. Oh and he’s a d–k off the court as well as on it. I think Cleveland has every right to hate this dude until he dies.

  13. randommofo - May 12, 2011 at 4:00 PM

    Good for him. Now win the title.

  14. bovice23 - May 12, 2011 at 4:14 PM

    As a Cavs fan who lives in Dayton OH I didnt really have a problem with the Decision (A LOT of people from Cleveland hate him for it and I understand why). The only thing that bothered me about it was that he said he did it to raise money for charity and only game them 2 of the 8 million dollars he raised. If you wanna make some money on the side go ahead but dont lie to people to justify it. I have a huge problem with the way he played in game 5 and 6 against Boston. That was not the LeBron James that I have watched and supported since he was in high school. Standing at the 3 point line all game, jacking up terrible shots, refusing to drive and looking disinterested shows me that he gave up when the series was still up for grabs. I dont want to forgive him but honestly in 5-10 years I’m sure my hatred for him will pass, probably a lot quicker if the situation in Miami never works out.

    • heatfan13 - May 12, 2011 at 6:42 PM

      Ok, first off it was 6 million that was raised. 2.5 million went to the Boys and Girls Clubs. 1.5 million were distributed amongst 12 other inner city charities in Ohio, Illinois and New York. The rest of the money went to production and to facilitate the 100,000 computer donated by HP through Lebron and $500,000 worth of Nike gear. Check The Social Feed sights who could care less about what team these guys play for, but appreciate their philanthropy. Lebron is at the top of the list as far as athletes who give back. He may have left Ohio, but he still takes care of his hometown. As a Heat fan I am thrilled to have him here and have already seen the impact he has had on our community along with Alonso and Dwayne. GO HEAT !!

  15. edweird0 - May 12, 2011 at 4:48 PM

    @savocabol1 dude were do you come off making these ASSumptions? We already have one championship in the last 5 years and plenty more on the way. You’re not from around these parts so don’t speak as tho you know this city. Not everyone can afford to spend $200-$300 to see this team play. Won’t stop me and everyone else from rooting from home. Get over yourself douche and go contemplate what your team is gunna do in the offseason to give us some competition.

  16. cookie2117 - May 12, 2011 at 4:55 PM

    I think it’s more of how he made THE DECISION on national tv and not telling the cavs he was gonna dip to miami

  17. cosanostra71 - May 12, 2011 at 7:49 PM

    completely insincere

    • pl4tinum514 - May 13, 2011 at 8:35 AM

      Yep. It’s easy to say “Sorry” when you’re really happy about something else (winning a series) and hardly care about what you’re apologizing for.

  18. philtration - May 12, 2011 at 11:02 PM

    LeBron and Wade played their little game here in Chicago too even though they knew they were going to sign in Miami.
    And no one cares.

    No one talks about them, no one says “what if?”
    If the Bulls beat them it won’t be any sweeter than if they had beat Boston.

  19. thetooloftools - May 13, 2011 at 8:24 AM

    He’s only doing this to try to repair his image and his brand.
    “He” regrets it.
    It’s always about him.
    LeBron’s still a child and he lies.
    “I will not rest until a bring a title to Cleveland”.
    He WAS the problem in Cleveland as he was a ball hog and then quit.
    Thanks for waiting till all the free agents were signed before announcing your “decision” to inflict as much damage as possible.
    It worked.
    Apology rejected LeFake.

  20. eragland - May 17, 2011 at 11:54 AM

    Why would I hate a basketball player? He’s JUST A BASKETBALL PLAYER!
    O-o-oh, you don’t hate him as a human being; just as a basketball player. Well here’s a news flash!
    That’s the only context you know him in as a human being. Anyway, HATRED is HATRED!
    I don’t advocate hatred of any human being, but if I did, it wouldn’t be wasted on a basketball player who made a public announcement to leave a team and city to play in another city for another team!
    THERE ARE FAR TOO MANY THINGS FOR HYPOCRITICAL, SELF-RIGHTEOUS SPORTS FANS to spend their HATRED on in this wicked world than a basketball player.
    Now I am sure that some people who speak such mean and hateful things about athletes don’t all literally hate them, but I am talking to those who do. Lighten up. It’s a game! It’s entertainment!
    If you had half the talent and giftedness these guys do, you would be ten times more unbearable than you already are with NO TALENT! As a basketball player, LeBron is terrific. That’s all I can personally say about the man. May he achieve what success his talents afford as well as all athletes

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