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Cavaliers officially announce signing of LeBron James

Jul 13, 2014, 8:00 AM EDT

LeBron James LeBron James

The dust has settled around LeBron James and free agency has begun to finally move forward, after the entire league was essentially in a holding pattern while waiting for him to make his decision.

All that was left for the Cavaliers to make the signing official, which they did on Saturday by issuing a somewhat lengthy, and predictably gushing release.

“We could not be happier to welcome LeBron James home. Yesterday, LeBron, through his essay, told us he wasn’t going anywhere except Cleveland and that ‘Cleveland is where he always believed he would finish his career.’ These words and commitment put all of us, including LeBron, in the best position to build our franchise the right way and achieve the kind of goals we all know are possible. Expectations will be at the highest levels but no one should expect immediate and automatic success,” said Cavaliers General Manager David Griffin.

“LeBron’s motivation to return home is clearly fueled by the kind of emotions and ideals that we can and should embrace. The contract and those details are secondary to his commitment to Northeast Ohio and the Cavaliers. It extends well beyond the boundaries of basketball and speak to his love and passion for his family, home, and our fans. He communicated his role and growth as a husband, father, teammate, community leader, and business person. This resonated in a special and personal way for all of us. LeBron put it well when he stated; ‘In Northeast Ohio, nothing is given. Everything is earned.’ We can’t wait to get started and look forward to his leadership, on and off the court, for many years to come.”

Interestingly enough, those contract details that Griffin mentioned are reportedly just for two years — although that is about James making sure he’ll have the opportunity to make the most money possible over the long haul due to a new television deal and a new collective bargaining agreement that are on the way, more than it is his desire to possibly play anywhere else.

The honeymoon is likely to be an extended one where James and the Cavaliers are concerned. His decisions for going home were genuine and heartfelt, and while the release was a mere formality, it’ll make a nice souvenir for Cleveland fans who never thought this day would come.

  1. remyje - Jul 13, 2014 at 8:09 AM

    i can see him leaving cleveland after one year lol…. and don’t tell me i’m absolutely wrong because, most likely, you’re one of the idiots who said there’s no way he leaves miami…

    • jsmason7 - Jul 13, 2014 at 8:22 AM

      Your absolutely wrong.

      • remyje - Jul 13, 2014 at 10:41 AM

        “You’re” is absolutely the right word you’re looking for

    • balsagna - Jul 13, 2014 at 8:25 AM

      Not sure how you could read that letter and think he would leave after 1 year.

      • remyje - Jul 13, 2014 at 8:30 AM

        not sure why there’s a player option after one year….

      • jeffkx - Jul 13, 2014 at 8:31 AM

        I really hope you’re not really dumb enough to think that he’s leaving after one year..

      • remyje - Jul 13, 2014 at 8:40 AM

        @jeffkx

        you were dumb enough to think he was never leaving cleveland 4 years ago…

        maybe even dumb enough to think he wasn’t leaving miami this year… can’t really tell what level of delusional NBA fan you are

      • balsagna - Jul 13, 2014 at 8:45 AM

        This is about legacy. He isn’t leaving after one year.

      • remyje - Jul 13, 2014 at 8:55 AM

        it’s about his legacy but he wants to be able to leave after just one season lmao….

        he wants to be able to leave after just ONE season….. that’s a fact… not some statement based on what you think will happen…. as we’ve seen in the past a lot of you delusional NBA fans are wrong more than you are right

      • sportsfan18 - Jul 13, 2014 at 9:02 AM

        So many things here…

        we all know how when a business makes a mistake, if they get the apology right or take care of the customer in the right way after a boo boo many times that customer is now a BIGGER customer of that company than before the mistake/accident.

        Same thing here. LBJ left and left in a bad way. But, he’s coming back in such a way that he wiped that past out. He took the high road and and even brushed off Gilbert’s letter in his essay. It was all done in a way where he’s even MORE of a hero to folks in Cleveland now than he was before because families will be telling their children that he cares about us, the area etc… (and he does, LBJ helps out, gives back and he’ll continue to do so).

        Why the opt out after 1 yr? For my money, there is still something between Gilbert and LBJ, the letter etc… Just that LBJ took the high road in “his words” (the essay he wrote).

        What didn’t Gilbert do before? Obtain and surround LBJ with good role players. It was LBJ and no one.

        Gilbert KNOWS that LBJ left once before and it’s a way to keep Gilbert and his organizations nose to the grindstone. The 2 yr deal is strictly about getting more money when the new TV deals takes effect… But his deal will be up and he could get that money on any other team as well.

        No, LBJ won’t leave but Gilbert knows LBJ can (he won’t, but could) leave after the first yr and after the 2nd yr.

        I imagine at some point when LBJ and Gilbert spoke privately something was said along the lines that it won’t be like it was last time with respect to not enough good players around LBJ.

        I don’t see LBJ leaving Cleveland again. He held the cards, the power in these negotiations to come back. The terms, length, opt out was whatever LBJ wanted it to be. Gilbert was not saying it’s a 4 yr deal or else… LBJ is simply exercising the power he has due to being the best player on the planet and due to what happened during his time there the first time.

      • jeffkx - Jul 13, 2014 at 9:04 AM

        Go read my posts..I’ve said for over a year he was coming back..nice try though..

      • remyje - Jul 13, 2014 at 9:32 AM

        @jeffkx

        so for over a year you’ve said he’s coming back after saying he would never leave 4 years ago?

    • cruzan80 - Jul 13, 2014 at 10:03 AM

      @sportsfan7 & remyje

      Your both don’t get it.

      Its the SMART way to do business…period.

      James signed a two-year, $42.1 million deal. Thee goal is to get max money in the 1st year then re-sign with the Cavs before the 2016-17 season when a new NBA television deal is expected to create a large jump in value of the maximum contract.

      Depending on how the new television contracts are put together, the salary cap is projected to leap to as high as $80 million in 2016. There is also uncertainty with the current collective bargaining agreement starting in 2017, another reason James wanted to keep his long-term options open when it comes to the structure of his contract.

      James’ off-court earnings, which top $40 million per year according to some estimates, allow for him to take some short-term risk to maximize long-term earnings.

      This, like I said a week ago…is about doing good business…period.

      NOT “something between Gilbert and LBJ” over some stupid letter. These are grown, very wealthy, business men who are making SMART business decisions….nothing else.

      Everything doesn’t have to be as dramatic as some of you girls may hope.

    • cruzan80 - Jul 13, 2014 at 10:07 AM

      This might help you girls figure it out so you can stop all the unnecessary & flat out incorrect drama filled posts…

      http://espn.go.com/nba/story/_/id/11207703/lebron-james-deal-cleveland-cavaliers-2-years-421-million

      • remyje - Jul 13, 2014 at 10:38 AM

        ESPN…….? Really? I know the “delusional fan” comment struck a nerve with you…..

      • cruzan80 - Jul 13, 2014 at 11:05 AM

        @remy

        Yeah…ESPN…but I guess we should use you instead right??? Talk about delusional….smh.

      • remyje - Jul 13, 2014 at 11:12 AM

        @cruzan80 that’s a shame….. What’d Lebron have for breakfast?

    • xLith - Jul 13, 2014 at 11:13 AM

      Did you even read the article? There’s a player option so he can opt out and take advantage of more money when the new TV deals come through.

      Also consider how badly he damaged his reputation with the public when he left the first time. Consider how carefully he handled it this time around, going back to Cleveland. You really think he would leave again just after a year? After all of that? You are smoking some kind of something.

      I’m not even a fan of LeBron and I understand this.

      • remyje - Jul 13, 2014 at 11:15 AM

        You might understand right now… We’ll see in a year

  2. jammer73 - Jul 13, 2014 at 8:32 AM

    The only ones that would say he’s leaving after one year are disgruntled Miami fans.

    • remyje - Jul 13, 2014 at 8:37 AM

      you got that one wrong….. soooooo you were one of the people who said he’s never leaving cleveland 4 years ago…….

      why is there a player option after one year?

      • buckifan4life - Jul 13, 2014 at 10:54 AM

        Are you metally challenged???

        So he can make more money. M-O-N-E-Y…. Not leave,….money! Got it, finally? Jeez…

  3. blueintown - Jul 13, 2014 at 8:33 AM

    Yeah, but has Chris Broussard confirmed it yet?

    • ProBasketballPundit - Jul 13, 2014 at 11:19 AM

      Haaaahahaha. That clip is hilarious. Broussard thinks he’s so tight with LeBron but then he found out about the letter just like everybody else. Then he made a pathetic attempt to insert himself in the story somehow. Sad.

      • blueintown - Jul 13, 2014 at 11:31 AM

        Always fun watching social media run circles around the booyah’s. That cretin in particular.

  4. billiam55 - Jul 13, 2014 at 8:33 AM

    all aboard the cleveland bandwagon!

    • jeffkx - Jul 13, 2014 at 9:09 AM

      Yea good joke. Dan Gilbert is a billionaire multiple times over and the best player in the NBA just came back to the team he owns..but you’ve got comic sans jokes..I’ll call Dan the winner in this fight..

    • ProBasketballPundit - Jul 13, 2014 at 11:21 AM

      I’m back aboard the Cleveland bandwagon; so what? I rooted for them 2007-2010 and now I’ll root for them again. Is it so wrong to enjoy watching the best player in the game?

    • antistratfordian - Jul 13, 2014 at 12:16 PM

      choo choo!

  5. mrhonorama - Jul 13, 2014 at 8:49 AM

    Was the press release in comic sans?

  6. jrs45 - Jul 13, 2014 at 8:49 AM

    I don’t think anyone call Cleveland fans bandwagon fans?? Browns Indians Cavs….

  7. ripdipbob - Jul 13, 2014 at 8:57 AM

    Bandwagon in Cleveland? Hahaha!!! Child please…bandwagons is strictly for winners and Cleveland = loserland Go Lakers!!!

    • skoivu10 - Jul 14, 2014 at 2:45 AM

      Well seeing how Cleveland landed LeBron and New York landed Carmelo and the Lakers didn’t sign anyone, not even Gasol, who’s the losers now. Sure you got the most titles or whatever, but that was then. R.I.P. 2014-2015 Lakers and the season hasn’t even started. Enjoy the end of Kobe’s career. He isn’t seeing another ring, just like Lakers fans for a little while.

  8. mungman69 - Jul 13, 2014 at 9:01 AM

    He ain’t leaving Cleveland EVER! He will end up owning the Cavs as well as all of Noreast Ohio.

    • scorp16 - Jul 13, 2014 at 10:38 AM

      That’s the same thought process you had 4 years ago. James would not be back in CLE if he didn’t think he had the chance to win. Maybe the Cavs get some Larry O Hardware in the next few years. But if they don’t, and James isn’t convinced that they can. Well…….Anything is possible.

  9. theebadguy - Jul 13, 2014 at 9:07 AM

    So is he going back to #23?

    • asimonetti88 - Jul 13, 2014 at 5:23 PM

      Supposedly he will be wearing #32. His freshman year of high school number. Still waiting on Chris Broussard’s confirmation

  10. bigdaddycool55 - Jul 13, 2014 at 9:33 AM

    The salary cap will be going up, the max is based on a percentage. The cap goes up, so does his salary. Merely a business/money decision

  11. hurley711 - Jul 13, 2014 at 9:41 AM

    Just a thought but maybe he has an opt out after 1 year because next years FA crop can be a big one and he leaves the option open to opt out and take a little less if they need $$$ to chase somebody he wants on the team? I know it has been said he is all about the max but HE has never directly said that in public.

  12. jzone954 - Jul 13, 2014 at 9:49 AM

    Lebron James is a business entity like we’ve never seen in sports. He’s wants the leverage, and control so the 2 year deal with 1 opt out is exactly what I knew he was going to do even if he resigned in Miami. I doubt he leaves Cleveland ever again but anything is possible with LBJ.

    • scorp16 - Jul 13, 2014 at 10:19 AM

      Agreed.

      LBJ goes back to CLE. There is a lot of promise with the young talent they have. There is a lot of excitement around Blatts variation of the Princeton Offense (I’m not a fan of it – see Mike Brown with the Lakers). There is a lot of great PR around returning home. Everything in Cleveland right now is Unicorns and Rainbows. But what if:

      He doesn’t buy into Blatts offense.
      Doesn’t mesh with a PG who holds the ball too long and is deficient on D
      Doesn’t believe the promising young talent is developing to his liking.
      Clashes with Gilbert after the honeymoon period

      I’m don’t see LeBron signing any contract longer than a 2 year with 1 year player option for the rest of his career or at least until he gets closer to his twighlight.

      For what it’s worth I don’t see him leaving Cleveland unless the Cavs front office really screws this up. He has enough quality pieces that will ensure they are at least realistic contenders for the next 5 years.

      I was of the opinion that There was no way LeBron could ever leave CLE if he resigned there. But if his home coming isn’t working out for him in the next 2 years, his PR guys that did a masterful job on the letter, will be able to spin it to a
      “I came home for the Right reasons to build a legacy in Cleveland, but the promises made by the Cavs orginazation we’re not fulfilled”. LeBrons learned a lot from Decision 1.0.

  13. jacobk621 - Jul 13, 2014 at 9:53 AM

    Ok Anti when are you getting hour Cleveland jersey ??

  14. rdrfan - Jul 13, 2014 at 10:01 AM

    Who Cares

  15. ningenito78 - Jul 13, 2014 at 10:09 AM

    @remyje the article explained why he did the contract that way you half breed moron.

    • remyje - Jul 13, 2014 at 10:30 AM

      @ningenito78 i don’t care what the person who wrote this article THINKS… these are the same people who said there is zero chance he leaves miami, old man

  16. nsstlfan - Jul 13, 2014 at 10:44 AM

    Don’t worry Miami fans you will get him back. Bosh and Wade will have a clause in their contract that if he is a free agent next year their contract value drops so Riley can resign him.

    • buckifan4life - Jul 13, 2014 at 10:57 AM

      No they won’t…

    • scorp16 - Jul 13, 2014 at 12:31 PM

      No. I think Riley would value a 27 year old Durant vs a 32 year old James in 2016.

      • csbanter - Jul 13, 2014 at 1:01 PM

        He graduated from “college” I guess he would be working on his Masters if he returned to Miami

    • scorp16 - Jul 13, 2014 at 1:09 PM

      “Csbanter”

      No. I think he redshirted the first year considering he didn’t show up for his final in 2011. He left school after 3 years to apparently turn pro. He still needs to back to get his degree.

    • asimonetti88 - Jul 13, 2014 at 5:25 PM

      That would be against the CBA

  17. antistratfordian - Jul 13, 2014 at 12:23 PM

    Did anyone see the front page of the NY Times sports section on LBJ-Day? Google it. It was very clever.

  18. chief0727 - Jul 13, 2014 at 12:38 PM

    LeBron once again shows why he is ahead of the curve in player contracts. Max contracts are based on the salary cap in the year you sign them. Next year he opts out and resigns an identical 2 year contract with a player option. This allows him to get 22 or 23 million in two years as opposed to 21 million. This also would allow the Cavs to sign another max player (Kevin Love ?) after he opts out and then resign LeBron since you can exceed the cap by resigning your own player. In 2016 he can opt out again and then sign the long term deal since the new TV money kicks in and the cap allegedly may go up to 80 million (63 next year). The haters make fun of Gilbert but one thing is certain—unlike Arrison in Miami–he has NO problem exceeding the cap and paying the luxury cap. Don’t believe it? The Cavs payroll LeBron’s last two years in Cleveland was greater than ANY of the Heats payrolls in his 4 years in Miami.

    • scorp16 - Jul 13, 2014 at 12:48 PM

      So you’re saying Gilbert has no problem exceeding the salary cap and paying a luxury tax on a team that he hasn’t even had make the playoffs in 4 years? A team that has exactly as many NBA championships as I do? And you want to make a comparison between that and Micky Arison who has had a team in the NBA finals 5 out of the past 9 years and won 3 NBA titles? Yeah….okay.

      • chief0727 - Jul 14, 2014 at 9:07 PM

        Gilbert has shown he’s willing to pay the luxury tax in LeBron’s last 4 years in Cleveland. He had higher payrolls the last 2 years with LeBron than Arrison did in any of LeBron’s 4 years with the heat. That’s all I’m saying. Arrison amnestied Mike Miller to avoid the tax and the Heat payroll actually decreased 2 million dollars last year in their quest for a 3peat. Facts are facts.

  19. bbk1000 - Jul 13, 2014 at 2:08 PM

    “His decisions for going home were genuine and heartfelt”

    Disagree here…..I think there is absolutely nothing that’s genuine about this guy…..I think everything he does is contrived…..just a big phony…as phony as the Miami fans who used to root for him….half of which are probably Cleveland fans by now….

    • scorp16 - Jul 13, 2014 at 2:40 PM

      As was said above. If the Cavs homecoming doesn’t work out for him…..He can always go get his Masters Degree back in Miami, or New York or LA

  20. seasickcecil - Jul 13, 2014 at 6:41 PM

    http://fb.me/3HbHMnr69

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