"I'm coming home." These are the final words of the essay that LeBron James wrote to announce his decision, as told to Sports Illustrated Senior Writer Lee Jenkins.
In the essay, James eloquently talks about his loyalty to his hometown, as well as his long-standing desire to come back and deliver a trophy to the city he feels closest to.
He also addresses his time in Miami, equating it to "his college experience." Of course, James never attended college, so the four years he spent in Miami supposedly served as his grounds for maturing, both on the court and off, as college often does for other athletes. He immediately wiped away any potential rumors that his relationship with Head Coach Erik Spoelstra, Team President Pat Riley or any of the players had gone sour, but rather he feels that at this point in his career, he must go back and address some unfinished business in Cleveland, once again both on and off the court.
James acknowledges that he made mistakes four years ago, but firmly claims that if he could do it over again, yes he would have gone about the decision-making process differently, but he still would have ended up in South Beach. It was something he needed to do. How can you really blame a man for needing a change of scenery and going to play with two of his closest friends for a chance to win a few titles in one of the nicest cities in the country?
He went to South Beach and learned how to win, how to be a complete team player. Now, after failing to bring a championship to Cleveland in his first seven years there, he will try to take what he learned in Miami and apply it to the playing style of the new Cleveland Cavaliers.
He is a different player than he was four years ago, a different person. There will be no The Decision Part II, no celebration. He's ready to work.
And perhaps it will be different this time around. There is an immense amount of young talent in Cleveland right now, just waiting to be tapped into. Perhaps the greatest player in the world will help that talent emerge.
The devotion he feels towards Cleveland is admirable. He wants to give the fans, the city what he couldn't in his first stint with the Cavs. And to think that he doesn't deserve that second chance because of how he left is asinine.
The real question here is: Does Cleveland deserve a second chance at LeBron James? The answer: Probably not. The fans burned his jersey, booed and despised him unconditionally for four years. Cavaliers Owner Dan Gilbert wrote a letter that was posted on the Cavaliers' website discussing his disappointment and disgust towards The King. So why is he going back? Well, for starters, he loves his city more than anything. But it's more than that. In the essay, James explains it much better than I ever could: "Who am I to hold a grudge?"