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LeBron James implies Dan Gilbert’s letter was a mistake, but absolves Cavaliers owner

Jul 11, 2014, 1:07 PM EST

LeBron James is headed back to the Cleveland Cavaliers, something that not long ago seemed impossible.

Chief among the reasons that move seemed unlikely: Dan Gilbert’s letter. Even today, it appeared to be an issue.

But LeBron has moved on.

LeBron, via Lee Jenkins of Sports Illustrated:

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?

I found it interesting LeBron expressed sympathy toward Ohio children, considering Gilbert’s letter said, “This shocking act of disloyalty from our home grown ‘chosen one’ sends the exact opposite lesson of what we would want our children to learn. And ‘who’ we would want them to grow-up to become.”

I don’t know whether it’s intentional, but LeBron also comes close to equating Gilbert’s reaction to how a child would react. Then again, LeBron also doesn’t technically call the letter a mistake – though it’s strongly implied.

Alas, LeBron has dropped the issue – and good for him. Grudges aren’t healthy and usually aren’t worth holding.

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