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

Jul 21, 2014, 11:44 AM EDT

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]

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