• Forecast
  • News Tip
  • Categories
Temperature Precipitation
Estimated read time
3m 34s

LeBron James: I’m returning to Cleveland Cavaliers

By CBS/AP 9:24 AM July 11, 2014

LeBron James is coming home.

The superstar free agent has told Sports Illustrated that he is returning to the Cleveland Cavaliers after spending four seasons playing for the Miami Heat.

It’s a move that would have seemed unfathomable four years ago, after thevenomous fallout that followed his decision to leave Cleveland for the Miami Heat.

James told SI in a first-person story: “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 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.

“Before anyone ever cared where I would play basketball, I was a kid from Northeast Ohio. It’s where I walked,” James told SI. “It’s where I ran. It’s where I cried. It’s where I bled. It holds a special place in my heart. People there have seen me grow up. I sometimes feel like I’m their son. Their passion can be overwhelming. But it drives me.

“I want to give them hope when I can. I want to inspire them when I can.”

He left Cleveland being called disloyal, a narcissist, a coward and a quitter – and that was all by Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert, who wrote that infamous letter blasting James for choosing Miami.

And now James will play for Gilbert again — and the team’s owner took to Twitter to welcome the superstar back home:

“I’m not having a press conference or a party,” James told SI. “After this, it’s time to get to work.”

James was quick not to promise any quick fixes, saying there is “now way” Cleveland will win a title next year.

“Of course, I want to win next year, but I’m realistic,” James said. “It will be a long process, much longer than it was in 2010. My patience will get tested. I know that.”

Cleveland desperately wants LeBron back, CBS News correspondent Dean Reynolds reports.

“He left and now we just want him back – we miss you, we really do,” one Cleveland fan told Reynolds.

And with that, the “Big 3″ era in Miami ends much sooner than the Heat expected.

James, Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade all exercised options in their contracts to become free agents this summer, but the thinking was that they would re-do their deals to give the team financial flexibility in an effort to make upgrades to the roster.

Instead, the game’s biggest star is heading back to his roots. Bosh may now leave as well. And the Heat face a decidedly uncertain future, a stunning twist for a franchise that has won the last four Eastern Conference titles.

James doesn’t turn 30 until this December, so it’s safe to say that he just may be reaching his peak.

And the numbers he’s put up in his first 11 NBA seasons already make him a lock for basketball immortality.

He’s already 27th all-time in scoring with 23,170 points, and could climb into the top 20 next season. Since he entered the league as the No. 1 overall pick by the Cavaliers in 2003, no one has logged more minutes, scored more points or had a better plus-minus ratio than James. His teams have outscored opponents by a staggering 3,743 points with him on the floor over that span; for comparison’s sake, Dwight Howard is No. 2 on that list, with a plus-2,312 ratio.

Only Tony Parker and Tim Duncan of the San Antonio Spurs have appeared in more regular-season wins over the last 11 years than James. And he just seems to keep getting better; this past season was his seventh straight year where he posted a career-best in field-goal percentage, shooting just under 57 percent.

© 2014 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Latest Stories

  • Politics

    House, Senate discuss marijuana legalization

    by Associated Press on Jan 26, 23:47

    Alaska lawmakers are grappling with how to decriminalize marijuana after voters in November approved a ballot initiative to legalize the substance. The House and Senate judiciary committees are considering bills that would decriminalize marijuana in certain situations and create new laws, including making it illegal to provide pot to minors. But the bill being considered […]

  • News

    Proposed Anchorage School District budget includes no teacher layoffs

    by Alexis Fernandez on Jan 26, 23:31

    Teachers across the Anchorage School District can breathe a sigh of relief tonight – Superintendent Ed Graff says their jobs are safe next school year. Graff presented his proposed budget for the 2015-16 school year to the school board Monday night, and it includes no direct cuts to the classroom. He says he will use $17 […]

  • News

    ‘Large power outage’ affects residents in Anchorage area

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Jan 26, 23:14

    Chugach Electric is reporting a large power outage Monday night in Anchorage, south of Tudor Road and in the Spenard area. The outage was caused by a generator at the Chugach plant on International Airport Road that tripped offline, says Sarah Wiggins with Chugach. Crews are now working to bring up a generator at another […]

  • Sports

    Wasilla player looks to have promising pro hockey career

    by KTVA Sports on Jan 26, 22:05

    Hockey is arguably the most popular sport around the state. Some young players use it to further their education, while others hope to make some money from it. Tanner Schachle is new to the Kenai River Brown Bears, but already his coach says he may have the chance to make a living on the ice.

  • News

    How Obama’s ANWR proposal could impact Alaska’s economy

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Jan 26, 21:21

    President Barack Obama’s actions Sunday to propose new wilderness designations in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge would essentially shut down any hopes of oil exploration in the area. Department of National Resources Commissioner Mark Myers joined KTVA 11 News to break down how the Obama administration’s proposal could impact Alaska’s economy.

  • Weather

    Evening News weather, Jan. 26

    by KTVA Weather on Jan 26, 20:54

    Kenai Peninsula and Prince William Sound Temperatures in single digits along with light winds. Some locations could see some morning fog. Southeast Things are drying out with temperatures unseasonably high. Fog can be found throughout the region. The Mat-Su Valley and Copper River Basin Expect mostly sunny skies with lows down to 33 degrees below […]

  • News

    New survey rates Alaska businesses on LGBT-friendliness

    by Heather Hintze on Jan 26, 20:50

    Local business leaders launched a new initiative in Anchorage to encourage companies to be more inclusive of the LGBT community. Named 1+1 Alaska, this online survey rates businesses “based on workplace policies, benefits and community engagement,” and helps them identify ways they can grow to be more inclusive for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender workers. A panel […]

  • News

    Students make ‘mountain of sandwiches’ for Anchorage’s homeless

    by Heather Hintze on Jan 26, 18:00

    Students at Anchorage’s Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic School are helping to feed Anchorage’s homeless community. Monday morning, the kids made a “mountain of sandwiches” that went to feed clients at the Brother Francis Shelter. Parents said the activity kicked off the school’s celebration of Catholic Schools Week. First- through -sixth-grade students formed assembly lines to turn out […]