It was the sports equivalent of the phony war – LeBron James, the best basketball player in the world, opted out of his contract with the Miami Heat, and then silence.
Left without the concrete date and time of The Decision four years earlier, fans went wild with speculation, analyzing flight paths and hacking website code to determine whether James would re-sign with the Heat or return to the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Now, finally, we have a decision, if not a Decision: LeBron is going back to the Cleveland Cavaliers.
James tells Sports Illustrated that he’s decided to go home. It’s a move that would have seemed unfathomable four years ago, after the venomous fallout that followed his decision to leave Cleveland for the Miami Heat.
James told SI: “My relationship with Northeast Ohio is bigger than basketball. I didn’t realize that four years ago. I do now.”
He spent his first seven NBA seasons in Cleveland. In four years with the Heat, he went to the NBA Finals four times, winning two championships. And now James heads back to Cleveland to see if he can finally deliver on his promise of winning a crown for that title-starved city.
James is from Akron, Ohio, not far from Cleveland.
Cleveland fans, starved for a title since the 1960s, went as crazy as expected, but the wider Internet – both die-hards and non-fans – couldn’t resist giving their take on the news:
– The Associated Press contributed reporting
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