After a four-year stint with the Miami Heat, LeBron James is heading back to the Cleveland Cavaliers.
James made the announcement in a first-person essay on Sports Illustrated’s website.
“I always believed that I’d return to Cleveland and finish my career there,” James told SI’s Lee Jenkins. “I just didn’t know when. After the season, free agency wasn’t even a thought. But I have two boys and my wife, Savannah, is pregnant with a girl. I started thinking about what it would be like to raise my family in my hometown. I looked at other teams, but I wasn’t going to leave Miami for anywhere except Cleveland. The more time passed, the more it felt right. This is what makes me happy.”
Prior to agreeing to return to Cleveland, James – along with his agent Rich Paul and business manager Maverick Carter – met with Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert for four hours in Miami and mended their relationship, which fractured after Gilbert blasted James in an open letter four years ago shortly after James’ televised announcement he was leaving for Miami.
Moments before James’ announcement on Friday, Paul called Gilbert with the news: “Dan, congratulations. LeBron is coming home.”
“Just happy for the people of Cleveland,” Gilbert told Yahoo Sports. “We are driven at the core by one thing: delivering the city a championship.”