After weeks of fevered speculation, Lebron James has finally ended his free agency by deciding to return to the Cleveland Cavaliers. In an as-told-to piece published on Sports Illustrated's website, Lebron detailed his reasons for going back to the hometown team he so famously spurned four years ago. Here are some highlights:
On leaving Cleveland -
When I left Cleveland, I was on a mission. I was seeking championships, and we won two. But Miami already knew that feeling. Our city hasn’t had that feeling in a long, long, long time. My goal is still to win as many titles as possible, no question. But what’s most important for me is bringing one trophy back to Northeast Ohio.
On coming back -
I always believed that I’d return to Cleveland and finish my career there. 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.
On what to expect -
I’m not promising a championship. I know how hard that is to deliver. We’re not ready right now. No way. Of course, I want to win next year, but I’m realistic. It will be a long process, much longer than it was in 2010. My patience will get tested. I know that. I’m going into a situation with a young team and a new coach. I will be the old head. But I get a thrill out of bringing a group together and helping them reach a place they didn’t know they could go. I see myself as a mentor now and I’m excited to lead some of these talented young guys.
James also promised there would be no shenanigans like when he signed with the Heat, stating, "I’m not having a press conference or a party. After this, it’s time to get to work."
With James, Kyrie Irving, and a rumored trade of no. 1 pick, Andrew Wiggins for Kevin Love, the Cavs would seem to be the presumptive favorite in the east. Will it be enough to get the long suffering city the elusive title it has been looking for since the Browns won in the pre-Super Bowl era NFL in 1964? We'll have top wait until next June to find the answer to that question. In the meantime rejoice Cleveland, your prodigal son has returned.