Niagara Gazette — CLEVELAND — LeBron James' latest decision is in: He's returning to Cleveland.
Ending a saga that had the NBA virtually at a standstill while he made up his mind, James told Sports Illustrated for a story published Friday that he's decided to go home. His decision reverses the move he made when he left the Cavaliers for Miami four years ago, and a twist that would have seemed unfathomable after the venomous fallout when he joined the Heat.
"When I left Cleveland, I was on a mission," James said in the SI first-person story. "I was seeking championships, and we won two. But Miami already knew that feeling. Our city hasn't had that feeling in a long, long, long time. My goal is still to win as many titles as possible, no question. But what's most important for me is bringing one trophy back to Northeast Ohio."
He added, "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.
For Cleveland, it's a new day.
For Miami, it's the end of a championship run.
"I am shocked & disappointed in today's news," Heat managing general partner Micky Arison wrote on Twitter. "However I will never forget what Lebron brought us for 4 years. Thanks for memories."
James said he will always call Miami his second home.
But the lure of his first one was simply too strong to ignore. James is from Akron, Ohio, not far from Cleveland.