LeBron James has decided to sign with the Cleveland Cavaliers.
James left the Cavaliers in 2010 to sign with the Miami Heat, going on to win two NBA championships and playing in two additional Finals.
"Before anyone ever cared where I would play basketball, I was a kid from Northeast Ohio," said James. "It’s where I walked. 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. My relationship with Northeast Ohio is bigger than basketball. I didn’t realize that four years ago. I do now."
James will leave immediately for Brazil to watch the World Cup Final.
"I went to Miami because of D-Wade and CB. We made sacrifices to keep UD. I loved becoming a big bro to Rio. I believed we could do something magical if we came together. And that’s exactly what we did! The hardest thing to leave is what I built with those guys. I’ve talked to some of them and will talk to others. Nothing will ever change what we accomplished. We are brothers for life. I also want to thank Micky Arison and Pat Riley for giving me an amazing four years.
"I’m doing this essay because I want an opportunity to explain myself uninterrupted. I don’t want anyone thinking: He and Erik Spoelstra didn’t get along. … He and Riles didn’t get along. … The Heat couldn’t put the right team together. That’s absolutely not true."
James was born and raised in Akron, Ohio and wants to bring a championship to Cleveland.
"I’m ready to accept the challenge. I’m coming home."
Heat owner Micky Arison quickly responded on Twitter to James' departure.
"I am shocked & disappointed in today's news. However I will never forget what Lebron brought us for 4 years. Thanks for memories @KingJames."
Dan Gilbert also quickly responded to the news on Twitter.
"Welcome Home @. I am excited for the fans and people of Cleveland and Ohio. No fans and people deserve a winner more than them....."