MIAMI (CBSMiami) – LeBron James is going back to Cleveland.
The news broke Friday through a personal essay by LeBron called “I’m Coming Home” which was published in Sports Illustrated.
In the article, Lebron wrote about his decision to go back and why. Lebron said that his relationship with Northeast Ohio is bigger than basketball.
“I didn’t realize that four years ago. I realize that now,” wrote LeBron.
He also said he started thinking about what it would be like to raise his family in Cleveland.
“The more time passed..the more it felt right, ” wrote LeBron.
Shortly after the article was published, Miami Heat owner Micky Arison tweeted out, “I am shocked & disappointed in today’s news. However I will never forget what Lebron brought us for 4 years. Thanks for memories @KingJames.”
James also posted a photo on his instagram account of him wearing a Cleveland Cavaliers jersey. Next to him is text saying “I’m coming home.”
Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert tweet out Friday ” Welcome Home @kingjames. I am excited for the fans and people of Cleveland and Ohio. No fans and people deserve a winner more than them.”
LISTEN: Reactions from Cleveland
Pat Riley released the following statement: “While I am disappointed by LeBron’s decision to leave Miami, no one can fault another person for wanting to return home. The last four years have been an incredible run for South Florida, HEAT fans, our organization and for all of the players who were a part of it. LeBron is a fantastic leader, athlete, teammate and person, and we are all sorry to see him go.”
“Over the last 19 years, since Micky and I teamed together, The Miami HEAT has always been a championship organization; we’ve won multiple championships and competed for many others. Micky, Erik and I remain committed to doing whatever it takes to win and compete for championships for many years to come. We’ve proven that we can do it and we’ll do it again.”
LeBron James has already had a very successful career despite that it’s probably only about half over. James came into the league straight out of high school at age 18 and instantly became one of the most popular figures in all of sports.
Voted the NBA’s Rookie of the Year in 2004, James career has been full of accolades that most players can only dream of.
In 2010 James decided to leave the team that drafted him, the Cleveland Cavaliers, and take his talents to South Beach and join the Miami Heat. In the four years that he has spent with the Heat, James’ career has reached new heights even with all the success and awards he earned while in Cleveland.
Since joining the Heat, James has led them to four consecutive NBA Finals appearances and back to back titles in 2012 and 2013. Only three other times has a team have reached four straight Finals, the last of which came in the mid-1980’s. While with the Cavaliers from 2003 to 2009, James reached the Finals once, getting swept by the San Antonio Spurs in 2007.
James was named Finals MVP for both of the championships he won with Miami and has been named the NBA’s Most Valuable Player twice during his tenure with Miami, both times being the same two years that the Heat won the NBA championship. LeBron was also named league MVP during his final two years in Cleveland.
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During the majority of his career James has been a fixture at the NBA All-Star Game, making the squad in ten straight seasons including the four he’s spent in Miami. LeBron was also named to the All-NBA First Team in each of the last seven years.
As a member of the Heat, LeBron has named the Eastern Conference Player of the Week 19 times. Additionally, he has been named the Eastern Conference Player of the Month 12 times during that span.
James hasn’t done badly financially since coming to Miami either, raking in $64 million in salary from the Heat.
That number doesn’t include the money he’s made through different endorsements and investments, like the upwards of $30 million in cash and stock James profited when Apple purchased Beats Electronics earlier this year. James received a small stake in Dr. Dre’s headphones startup Beats back in 2008 in exchange for promoting the high-end headphones.
Now James enters a new chapter in his career and one can only imagine how much he will accomplish when all is said and done. It’s somewhat appropriate that James will turn 30 during the upcoming season as the milestone will mark a new and exciting part of both his life and career.
Click here to read more about LeBron James’ decision.
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