Skip to content

LeBron James going home, to sign with Cleveland Cavaliers

Jul 11, 2014, 12:20 PM EDT

Thomas Wolfe was wrong, at least about LeBron James. You can go home again.

LeBron James is heading back to the Cleveland Cavaliers, and he announced the decision on his own terms.

LeBron, via Lee Jenkins of Sports Illustrated:

I always believed that I’d return to Cleveland and finish my career there. I just didn’t know when. After the season, free agency wasn’t even a thought. But 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. 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.

Wow. Wow. Wow.

For a long time, many didn’t believe the Cavs had a serious chance to lure LeBron back, but they did it.

In Cleveland he will be welcomed home like the prodigal son. 

[ RELATED: Why LeBron is going home, in his own words ]

And with Kyrie Irving in the fold and a number of decent to good young players (Tristan Thompson, Dion Waiters, Andrew Wiggins) this is now a team that is a contender to win the East. Their youth and playoff inexperience is going to leave them short of the top teams in the West, but the Cavaliers certainly could make the Finals, LeBron James’ fifth in a row. This is a team with a lot of potential.

The Cavs also have the draft picks and assets to make some moves and go after some veterans and bigger names, including Kevin Love.

LeBron is also the first domino to fall in what should be a rush of free agent signings such as Carmelo Anthony, Chris Bosh, Pau Gasol, Luol Deng, Lance Stephenson and others. 

LeBron played his first seven years in Cleveland, but after some terrible management moves they we’re unable to put a quality team around him. The Cavaliers with LeBron made the Finals once and he grew frustrated with the organization and talent.

So he teamed up with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh and formed a super team in Miami — and it worked on the court, the Heat went to four straight NBA Finals and won two titles. However, off the court how LeBron handled the announcement was a public relations disaster — “The Decision” is mocked to this day and it pummeled LeBron James image.

[ MORE: LeBron implies Dan Gilbert’s letter was a mistake, but absolves owner ]

In the last four years the rules of the new Collective Bargaining Agreement — in which the owners slashed the players share of revenue by seven percent and put in rules to make it very hard to form or maintain a super team — have eroded the Heat. Pat Riley, for years, has mostly been limited to adding minimum-salary players or a couple who made slightly more. Some worked, such as Ray Allen, and others didn’t, such as Michael Beasley.

But Riley couldn’t easily add the kind of young, athletic players the Spurs had and beat the Heat with in the 2014 Finals, guys such as Kawhi Leonard.

One of the hard-line owners who pushed for those super team restrictions? Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert.

Now he wants one of his own — the Cavaliers just signed Kyrie Irving to a max extension and have LeBron, now they are trying to swing a trade for Kevin Love. That would likely take the inclusion of No. 1 pick Andrew Wiggins in a deal, and even that may not be enough.

Heat owner Micky Arison responded this way:

Cavaliers’ owner Dan Gilbert’s reaction:

And finally, from LeBron’s Instagram page.

Latest Posts
  1. Adjusting for playoff rotations round two: Watch out for the Wizards

    May 3, 2015, 11:00 AM EDT

    Kent Bazemore, John Wall, Paul Pierce AP

    Cavaliers could be OK against the Bulls (even without Kevin Love), Warriors remain favorites and more lessons from the first round

  2. Rumor: Orlando taking time to start coaching search waiting on Thibodeau situation

    May 3, 2015, 9:30 AM EDT

    Tom Thibodeau AP

    Thibs may not want to go to Orlando if he becomes a free agent as a coach.

  3. Chris Paul banks in game winner to lift Clippers past Spurs (VIDEO)

    May 2, 2015, 10:56 PM EDT

    San Antonio Spurs v Los Angeles Clippers - Game Seven Getty Images

    It was going to take a shot like that to win this, the best first-round series in recent memory.

  4. Chris Paul strains hamstring, heads to locker room, but returns

    May 2, 2015, 9:03 PM EDT

    San Antonio Spurs v Los Angeles Clippers - Game Seven Getty Images

    He was out for eight minutes the Clippers were only -2.

  5. Jared Dudley can become a free agent, but says 80 or 90 percent chance he’ll return to Bucks

    May 2, 2015, 8:30 PM EDT

    Chicago Bulls v Milwaukee Bucks - Game Four Getty Images

    Dudley has player option for $4.25 million for next season, but hopes to back in Milwaukee regardless.

  6. Brandon Jennings: Winner of Clippers-Spurs series ‘will be playing the Cavs in the Finals’

    May 2, 2015, 7:00 PM EDT

    Detroit Pistons v Milwaukee Bucks Getty Images

    The Warriors (and the Bulls, and the Hawks) may have something to say about that.

  7. Blazers’ GM non-committal on attempting to re-sign free agent Wesley Matthews

    May 2, 2015, 5:30 PM EDT

    New York Knicks v Portland Trail Blazers Getty Images

    Portland was very good with Matthews healthy this season, but he’s now an unrestricted free agent, and it’s unclear how high the Blazers will go to retain his services.

  8. Joe Johnson on Nets future: ‘I don’t see us coming back as the same team’

    May 2, 2015, 4:00 PM EDT

    brook lopez joe johnson kg AP

    Changes are ahead in Brooklyn, and Johnson sees them coming.

  9. Nets coach Lionel Hollins on whether it took too long for his team to figure things out: ‘Did we make the playoffs?’

    May 2, 2015, 2:00 PM EDT

    Brooklyn Nets v Atlanta Hawks - Game Two Getty Images

    Hollins was defiant after the Nets were eliminated from the postseason, and believes the fact that they made the playoffs at all was an achievement worth noticing.

  10. Kyle Korver torches Nets from three-point distance in Game 6 (VIDEO)

    May 2, 2015, 12:30 PM EDT

    Kyle Korver AP

    Korver’s hot start was indicative of how things would go.

  11. Report: Bulls’ Mike Dunleavy won’t be suspended for Game 1 against Cavaliers

    May 2, 2015, 11:00 AM EDT

    Chicago Bullls v Milwaukee Bucks - Game Six Getty Images

    Dunleavy hit Michael Carter-Williams in the neck early in Chicago’s Game 6 win over the Bucks.

  12. PBT Extra with NBASavant.com: Derrick Rose got it done on both ends in first round

    May 2, 2015, 8:00 AM EDT

    Chicago Bullls v Milwaukee Bucks - Game Six Getty Images

    The guy Rose was guarding shot only 39 percent for the Bucks.

  13. Hawks eliminate Nets from playoffs with blowout victory in Game 6

    May 1, 2015, 10:34 PM EDT

    Atlanta Hawks v Brooklyn Nets- Game Six Getty Images

    Atlanta’s elite offense returned, and Brooklyn had no answers.

  14. Report: Kings not interested in trading DeMarcus Cousins

    May 1, 2015, 9:45 PM EDT

    Toronto Raptors v Sacramento Kings Getty Images

    An earlier report emerged that said the Celtics planned on trying to trade for Cousins this summer.

Featured video

Thunder take risk with Donovan, but calculated one
Top 10 NBA Player Searches
  1. K. Love (5407)
  2. M. Conley (5171)
  3. R. Rondo (4321)
  4. C. Parsons (3675)
  5. K. Durant (3474)
  1. J. Smith (3426)
  2. D. Williams (3387)
  3. K. Bryant (3341)
  4. P. Beverley (3097)
  5. J. Crowder (3086)