In his essay, one line best describes LeBron's decision to return home: "My relationship with Northeast Ohio is bigger than basketball. I didn't realize that four years ago. I do now." With LeBron receiving major criticism for having ESPN make a 30-minute spectacle out of his infamous "The Decision" special, his choice of announcing his return via letter has received praise and in some ways erases his shameful past. And though a return to the Cavs at some time during his career was inevitable, if anything stood in the way of LeBron returning, it was the rocky relationship between he and Cavs owner Dan Gilbert. Gilbert, who took numerous shots at his former star player for his departure to Miami and was arguably the most heartbroken regarding James' decision four years ago by calling him a "coward", went as far as saying the Cavs would win a ring before LeBron ever did and accused him of quitting on the team during the 2010 NBA Finals. Boy was he ever wrong.
Shortly after word got out that LeBron was returning to Ohio, Cavs fans poured out onto the streets to celebrate as if they just won an NBA title. Something they've never experienced in the 40+ year history of their franchise and hope this time around that their savior can deliver on. But don't go rocking out to the theme song of the Drew Carey show "Cleveland rocks" just yet. Unlike James' speech which helped fire up the Miami fan base when he was first introduced alongside Heat big three front mates Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh where he went on to say the team would win, "...not five, not six, not seven..." James wrote in his letter that he wasn't promising a championship to the people of Cleveland, adding that it won't be easy. But that didn't stop Cavs season tickets from flying off the shelves and selling out just hours after LeBron's return was announced, nor did it prevent several Las Vegas casinos from making the Cavs the favorites to win it all next season, where as the Miami Heat's odds have now plummeted despite both Bosh and Wade eyeing a return to South Beach.
For LeBron who has matured greatly since 2010, the return to Cleveland gives him a chance to recover the legacy many believe he tarnished by leaving his home behind to chase a ring and join forces with Bosh and Wade. After turning the page on that chapter of his career, James will be embarking on a new chapter which will feature him playing the role of mentor for the first time as he looks to take a bright young talent in Andrew Wiggins under his wing. That's unless Wiggins is dealt as rumors have now begun to swirl involving a possible trade for Minnesota Timberwolves star forward Kevin Love who has been "intrigued" by the thoughts of joining LeBron in Cleveland and has said he'd commit to a long-term deal with the team. But it won't be easy to accomplish as the T-Wolves have already declined an offer that included Dion Waiters, last year's first overall pick Anthony Bennett and Cleveland's first-round pick next year, while making it clear that they have eyes for Wiggins. Adding Love into the mix would certainly put Cleveland over the top as the favorites to come out of the Eastern Conference to contend for a title. But until then, 2014-15 might be a lot like 2006-07 when LeBron led the Cavs to an NBA Finals appearance but was unable to claim the title.
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