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LeBron James on Cleveland: “I’m not going anywhere”

Aug 8, 2014, 7:59 PM EDT

LeBron James LeBron James

We knew this.

After the way LeBron James framed his return to the Cleveland Cavaliers — all about wanting to go home, about unfinished business, about bringing a title to Northeast Ohio — he couldn’t leave again. Can you imagine the public relations backlash if he left them a second time?

But LeBron confirmed that, meeting briefly with the media in Akron before a welcome home rally Friday night. LeBron said this, reports Jason Lloyd of the Akron Beacon Journal.

If your next question was “why have an opt out next season and have a two-year deal?” the answer is money. Raking it in. Benjamins. Getting paid.

LeBron (along with Carmelo Anthony) took the position this summer that players in their prime should not sacrifice money on their deals. (Technically ‘Melo took a $6 million haircut on a $123 million deal, but that’s not much.) After the owners won big at the last collective bargaining agreement and the players share of league revenue fell from 57 percent down to 50 percent, LeBron didn’t feel like taking a discount. Small and middle market owners — led by Cavs’ owner Dan Gilbert still sore from LeBron bolting to Miami — led the charge to put in the restrictions that would limit future super teams and force their owners to pay. Now Gilbert is going to have to write some checks and LeBron isn’t giving him a discount on it.

You can be sure that Friday night’s rally will lack the bombast of what happened in Miami four years ago. LeBron continues to do things right, there will be no “not two, not three, not four…” instead more of downplaying the expectations:

Here are a few other highlights from his comments.

  1. clevelandrox - Aug 8, 2014 at 8:03 PM

    IM FREAKING OUT MAN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • spthegr8 - Aug 8, 2014 at 10:09 PM

      Weather he leaves again or not is yet to be seen. One thing is for SURE. If he does decide to leave again, the Bandwagoners will follow him like he is the modern day Pied Piper!!

    • fanofthegame79 - Aug 8, 2014 at 10:39 PM

      You are freaking out, man.

  2. samsonight1010 - Aug 8, 2014 at 8:14 PM

    If he were to leave after that essay, the backlash would be far worse than the decision, regardless of how he handled it. Personally, I think he plays out his career in Cleveland, then looks to get some ownership stake in the Cavs

    • scorp16 - Aug 8, 2014 at 8:24 PM

      The Essay…yeah okay. He said in the essay there was no time to that wrong already today.
      He looks forward to mentoring the younger guys …. As he pushes 2 of them out the door….See a pattern developing?

      Cleveland better hope they win in the next couple of years….or it ain’t going to be pretty

  3. garypagetwo - Aug 8, 2014 at 8:18 PM

    god. who the f **** cares ??

    • spthegr8 - Aug 8, 2014 at 10:05 PM

      Action speaks louder than words. You took the time to click on the story & comment so, apparently, you do!!

  4. ProBasketballPundit - Aug 8, 2014 at 8:21 PM

    It’s nice to hear given LeBron’s recent migrations. Even though he clearly made the move back to Cleveland for basketball reasons I respect the intent to stay put. Hopefully he & the young/inexperienced guys will grow together.

    • marsh025 - Aug 10, 2014 at 11:10 AM

      what young and inexperienced guys?
      Ray Allen? Mike Miller? Shawn Marion? James Jones? Kevin Love?
      Kyrie and Dion are the only ones left and they have three years experience.
      He basically thinks he has a better team in Cleveland. Would he have gone back if the lottery picks weren’t flowing? If he had won 3 in a row?
      We’ll have to wait and see.

  5. Kevin S. - Aug 8, 2014 at 8:22 PM

    Butbut, Mr. Wright said that LeBron and Love could go to New York next summer!

  6. sportsfan18 - Aug 8, 2014 at 8:42 PM

    100% of folks with functioning brains knew this…

    Which equates to around 27.89438957% of the posters on this site…

    • kindasporty - Aug 8, 2014 at 10:19 PM

      You’re just being oppressive to us 72.10561043 percenters! Occupy comments!

      • sportsfan18 - Aug 8, 2014 at 11:40 PM

        well played

  7. jasper36 - Aug 8, 2014 at 9:15 PM

    People thought he would never leave Cleveland, then the same for Miami. There is a trend here folks. Not saying he’s going to leave, but saying that LeBron has a history of back tracking in his word. So Cleveland fans should just enjoy the moment. And if by chance things don’t go right, they won’t be surprised.

  8. nykfanwakemeupin2015 - Aug 8, 2014 at 9:44 PM

    I can get behind the cavs after the knicks but never get behind Miami or Dwade

    • reesesteel23 - Aug 9, 2014 at 9:27 AM

      Okay? lol.

  9. seasickcecil - Aug 8, 2014 at 10:03 PM

    Oh crap. Now I have to wonder if I’m one of the 72.10561043.

  10. divan22 - Aug 8, 2014 at 10:08 PM

    “As if, after the way he framed his return as “going home” he could leave again.”

    This is just shameful sentence structure from a professional journalist.

  11. seasickcecil - Aug 8, 2014 at 10:34 PM

    Now wait a minute. I knew Lebron wasn’t going anywhere. That must make me one of the 27.89438957.

  12. honkerdawg - Aug 8, 2014 at 10:54 PM

    Yeah he’s not going anywhere until somebody offers more money. He’s just another NBA mercenary

  13. nsstlfan - Aug 8, 2014 at 10:57 PM

    Don’t worry Cleveland he’s gone next summer and will be taking Love with him.

    • asimonetti88 - Aug 9, 2014 at 3:39 PM

      he’s taking his talents to the Russian Super League

  14. seasickcecil - Aug 8, 2014 at 11:27 PM

    More money? Now that he’s a member of the Cavs they can offer him more money than any other team. Same goes for Kevin Love.since they will be one of the teams ruling the NBA for the next 4 or five years why go anywhere else? Look like the posters above are 2 of the 72.10561043%.

  15. program33 - Aug 8, 2014 at 11:47 PM

    We live in the information age. As a fan it’s best to take it one day at a time. Sit back and let the media go crazy trying to break the next big story. The fact of the matter is that no one really knows at this point it’s too early. Relax sit back and see how it all plays out. Only time will truly get your questions answered. My questions…. How far will Cleveland go? How good will the Bulls be this upcoming season? Will the Spurs go back to back? Should be a great season.

  16. rawgator06 - Aug 9, 2014 at 1:59 AM

    I am trying to figure out whats worse: LeBron leaving through the decision or writing a thoughtful essay about being a role model and developing young players into a championship team…and then promptly trading the two youngest players away from a player who is already a superstar.

    • phillycannon - Aug 9, 2014 at 8:28 AM

      Agreed!!! Did you notice in the “essay”(we know he didnt write it), he never mentioned working with Wiggins. I really think that deal for Love was already in place once Wiggins was drafted.

  17. davidly - Aug 9, 2014 at 5:29 AM

    Considering the league’s salary scale, I think it’s time we replaced Benjamins with Wilsons (seriously, look it up). Benjis are what they hand out, not what they earn.

  18. phillycannon - Aug 9, 2014 at 8:34 AM

    It boggles my mind, that this guy(who “suppose” to be the greatest basketball player on earth), has to go on the internet to learn about his coach.

    Thats a little strange, when he couldve just talked to the coach face to face(as soon as he signed), and learn about him.

    Maybe its just me. Maybe Im too old school in basketball. I couldve swore that most players who pick a team, already researched the coach prior to signing.

    Say what you want about his “loyalty” to Akron, but this guy isnt the brightest bulb in the bunch

    • clevelandrox - Aug 9, 2014 at 10:47 AM

      yeah, well then again you dont possess a fraction of hit basketball talent…

      • clevelandrox - Aug 9, 2014 at 10:48 AM


    • divan22 - Aug 9, 2014 at 3:01 PM

      You give NBA players far too much credit if you really think they “research” the coach before deciding where to sign.

      Yes, you are old school and no, there’s nothing wrong with using the Internet to research things. Welcome to 1996!

  19. mungman69 - Aug 9, 2014 at 2:34 PM

    I would be “shocked”, SHOCKED I say, if LeBron ever leaves Cleveland.
    I was shocked when my 17 year old daughter said, “Dad, I’m pregnant”. That worked out pretty good AND I believe that Lebron won’t shock me like that. I think that this will work out well for the Cavs and that whole area.
    Good luck Cavs but in three (3) years the Sixers will be the #1 team in the East.
    And the Bucks and Magic too. Maybe. Maybe not.

  20. seasickcecil - Aug 9, 2014 at 5:54 PM

    Skylar Grey:

  21. drewzducks - Aug 9, 2014 at 6:37 PM

    If anywhere is nowhere it’s Cleveland, so i’d have to agree with him.

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