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Mario Chalmers: “I never thought anybody would want to leave Miami for Cleveland”

Jul 21, 2014, 11:44 AM EST

Miami did not expect LeBron James to leave. Four years, four trips to the Finals, a winning culture, both the front office and other players thought LeBron would be back.

But such is the lure of home (and a younger team on the rise, and an organization where he and his guys have more power than Pat Riley’s Miami, there were a lot of factors here). LeBron has made his decision and the Heat have moved on with a Chris Bosh/Luol Deng/Josh McRoberts/Dwyane Wade roster that should do fairly well. Mario Chalmers is back, too, and will probably get yelled at less frequently.

But they are still surprised LeBron bolted, as Chalmers told Shandel Richardson of the Sun Sentinel.

Chalmers said he was shocked to see James return to Cleveland after four seasons in Miami. The two have spoken since, with Chalmers wishing well his former teammate. He was among the closest players to James.

“We were surprised,” Chalmers said. “I never thought anybody would want to leave Miami for Cleveland but you grow up and you move on. That’s what happened and there’s no love lost.”

I think that was part of the shock for Heat fans — who would want to leave Miami? Warm weather, great lifestyle, no state taxes. This is a place people come to, not leave (at least that’s how people in Miami see it, you can certainly call that attitude arrogant if you want). Again, such is the power of home to overcome other issues. Plus LeBron wanted to restore his legacy and saw this as a route to that.

The Heat/Cavaliers games this season should be fun, though.

[RELATED: LeBron cheers on his son at AAU game]

  1. jzone954 - Jul 21, 2014 at 3:42 PM

    How about let’s compared organizations then? I would say the heat have mattered prior to Lebron no? As far as what Mario said he’s just speaking honestly , I mean who would want to go back to Cleveland from Miami? Rio knows all to well lebrons intent , he’s just taking shots at Lebron all in good fun.

    • pelumaad - Jul 21, 2014 at 9:18 PM

      Not long ago I ran into a Clevelander who I worked with in Atlanta for six years….He’s lived there more than 25 years…raised a family there…..He said he’s retiring and going back to Cleveland. I guess you have to be from there to understand. I think LeBron’s mother and wife played a big part in his decision. I wonder how he’ll feel in a snowstorm 4 or 5 years down the line…..with no more rings.

    • bball242322 - Jul 22, 2014 at 10:42 AM

      Family over everything

  2. jzone954 - Jul 21, 2014 at 3:45 PM

    It’s not about the people or anything like that, I’m sure the people of Cleveland of good people.

  3. godelleb - Jul 21, 2014 at 3:47 PM

    Joakim Noah completely agrees with him.

  4. newyorkball82 - Jul 21, 2014 at 3:56 PM

    Does nobody realize that when people are rich, that “living” somewhere is a lot different than the average persons idea of the word? Lebron can go anywhere and live for extended periods of time any time he wants. Sure he’ll make Cleveland his home again, but he could easily visit Miami when he wants (in the cooler months), and spend the nicer part of the year in Cleveland. It’s not really that hard to understand…

  5. tampajoey - Jul 21, 2014 at 4:25 PM

    Wow, so Mario Chalmers doesn’t have it all figured out. Who would have guessed.

  6. rosloe62 - Jul 21, 2014 at 6:01 PM

    Nobody wants to play for Miami when they aren’t winning. Worst fans in NBA.

    • mikeymo74 - Jul 21, 2014 at 9:15 PM

      At least they don’t burn your jersey and effigy while calling you every name in the book. I’d rather have a fairweather fanbase than a deranged one.

      • beach305 - Jul 21, 2014 at 10:37 PM

        If you go by Barkley, he said the spurs fans are the worst…lol

        Seriously, I usually don’t comments about trolls talking about teams fans or cities because its just a silly attempt to flame. If you think Miami has bad fans, then I’m going to change your mind.

      • jtk1985 - Jul 22, 2014 at 1:23 PM

        http://deadspin.com/this-is-the-best-heat-fan-burns-lebron-jersey-video-1603741843

        Or do they

    • pelumaad - Jul 21, 2014 at 9:20 PM

      Athletes never complain about Miami fans…..just the talking heads in the old, cold north east.

    • dziner305 - Aug 28, 2014 at 1:51 AM

      @rosloe62… We are HAPPY 3 Times in a 26-year history. As for you, never been happy in your 60 years in the NBA with your best fans. Moron, what a team to be proud of!

  7. tombstone7 - Jul 21, 2014 at 8:30 PM

    What Legacy?

  8. jimhudson78666 - Jul 21, 2014 at 10:44 PM

    Chalmers has a lot of nerve to criticize the Best player in the NBA and one who helped Champers become a Champion even though he vanished in the finals as the Spurs ran the Heat out of the Gym!

    They’ll make the playoffs in the weak East but paying Soft Bosh and Washed Up Wade so much will not result in another trip to the Finals!

    Say Goodnight Gracie! The Heat are Done!

  9. atahualpaoxford - Jul 21, 2014 at 11:32 PM

    The next time Miami wins the NBA finals will be about the same time the US soccer team wins the World Cup….

    • ganksus - Sep 4, 2014 at 12:33 AM

      No..they’re not

  10. ganksus - Sep 4, 2014 at 12:34 AM

    And I guess the US team will be winning in soccer soon.

  11. pdixon920 - Sep 4, 2014 at 2:58 PM

    Dear Mario Chalmers,

    You’re an average NBA player on a good night, if you did not have 3 of the top 10-15 NBA players dominating every night on your team for 3 years (D Wade was shot by year 4) you would have been exposed. I’m not sure you would even start for a bad team, as your weaknesses would be exposed even further. I know you stay awake at night crying over the loss of LeBron and the fact that your long overdue replacement was just drafted but its time to get over it and move on my friend. Why would anyone leave Miami for Cleveland? The answer is simple, the prospect of playing with you, and aging/declining Dwayne Wade, and a barren bench made even Miami seem less appealing.

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