The wait is over. The anticipation is over. The speculation is over. LeBron James is returning to the Cleveland Cavaliers after keeping Cleveland fans on their toes all week. The decision came via Lee Jenkins of Sports Illustrated just after noon on Friday. LeBron penned a personal note to Jenkins, which can be seen on Sports Illustrated’s website. Here’s an excerpt from LeBron’s message to Jenkins:
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.
LeBron mentioned in the message on how he isn’t going to guarantee any championships, but that he is excited to get to work with the likes of Kyrie Irving, Dion Waiters and Tristan Thompson and also reunite with longtime friend and teammate Anderson Varejao. The message also had its heartfelt moments. This is how LeBron James close his message to Cleveland:
But this is not about the roster or the organization. I feel my calling here goes above basketball. I have a responsibility to lead, in more ways than one, and I take that very seriously. My presence can make a difference in Miami, but I think it can mean more where I’m from. I want kids in Northeast Ohio, like the hundreds of Akron third-graders I sponsor through my foundation, to realize that there’s no better place to grow up. Maybe some of them will come home after college and start a family or open a business. That would make me smile. Our community, which has struggled so much, needs all the talent it can get.
In Northeast Ohio, nothing is given. Everything is earned. You work for what you have.
I’m ready to accept the challenge. I’m coming home.
LeBron is coming home after playing his first seven seasons in Cleveland. After he left, LeBron went on to play in four NBA championships, winning two of them. The four-time MVP also helped to bring Cleveland to the Finals against the San Antonio Spurs in 2007. After falling victim to the Boston Celtics in his final season with the Cavs before heading off to Miami, LeBron threw off the Cleveland jersey that was on his back. Now, he’ll be putting it back on to deliver what he promised this city in the first place: a championship.