The Herald Banner, Greenville, TX

Sports

July 11, 2014

LeBron: I'm heading back to Cleveland

CLEVELAND, OHIO — Before anyone ever cared where I would play basketball, I was a kid from Northeast Ohio. 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.

Remember when I was sitting up there at the Boys & Girls Club in 2010? I was thinking, This is really tough. I could feel it. I was leaving something I had spent a long time creating. If I had to do it all over again, I’d obviously do things differently, but I’d still have left. Miami, for me, has been almost like college for other kids. These past four years helped raise me into who I am. I became a better player and a better man. I learned from a franchise that had been where I wanted to go. I will always think of Miami as my second home. Without the experiences I had there, I wouldn’t be able to do what I’m doing today.

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.

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

When I left Cleveland, I was on a mission. 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.

I always believed that I’d return to Cleveland and finish my career there. I just didn’t know when. After the season, free agency wasn’t even a thought. But I have two boys and my wife, Savannah, is pregnant with a girl. I started thinking about what it would be like to raise my family in my hometown. I looked at other teams, but I wasn’t going to leave Miami for anywhere except Cleveland. The more time passed, the more it felt right. This is what makes me happy.

To make the move I needed the support of my wife and my mom, who can be very tough. The letter from Dan Gilbert, the booing of the Cleveland fans, the jerseys being burned -- seeing all that was hard for them. My emotions were more mixed. It was easy to say, “OK, I don’t want to deal with these people ever again.” But then you think about the other side. What if I were a kid who looked up to an athlete, and that athlete made me want to do better in my own life, and then he left? How would I react? I’ve met with Dan, face-to-face, man-to-man. We’ve talked it out. Everybody makes mistakes. I’ve made mistakes as well. Who am I to hold a grudge?

I’m not promising a championship. I know how hard that is to deliver. We’re not ready right now. No way. Of course, I want to win next year, but I’m realistic. It will be a long process, much longer than it was in 2010. My patience will get tested. I know that. I’m going into a situation with a young team and a new coach. I will be the old head. But I get a thrill out of bringing a group together and helping them reach a place they didn’t know they could go. I see myself as a mentor now and I’m excited to lead some of these talented young guys. I think I can help Kyrie Irving become one of the best point guards in our league. I think I can help elevate Tristan Thompson and Dion Waiters. And I can’t wait to reunite with Anderson Varejao, one of my favorite teammates.

But this is not about the roster or the organization. I feel my calling here goes above basketball. I have a responsibility to lead, in more ways than one, and I take that very seriously. My presence can make a difference in Miami, but I think it can mean more where I’m from. I want kids in Northeast Ohio, like the hundreds of Akron third-graders I sponsor through my foundation, to realize that there’s no better place to grow up. Maybe some of them will come home after college and start a family or open a business. That would make me smile. Our community, which has struggled so much, needs all the talent it can get.

In Northeast Ohio, nothing is given. Everything is earned. You work for what you have.

I’m ready to accept the challenge. I’m coming home.

1
Text Only
Sports
  • Greenville Lions' coaching staff lineup changes

      Each summer the Greenville Lions’ coaching staff goes through a transition phase as some coaches move on to other schools and new coaches are hired to take their place.
      This summer is no exception. There’s changes in the coaching staffs for the boys and girls programs that’ll involve the football, volleyball, boys soccer, powerlifting and softball teams.
     

    July 25, 2014

  • Oliver Hale three medals.jpg Hail to the winner of three medals at Transplant Games

      His nickname in Greenville is “Pee Wee,” but Oliver Hale is a big man on the tennis court and in the kitchen.
      Hale, who is a 1971 graduate of Greenville High School, won three medals at the 2014 Transplant Games of America recently in Houston while competing in the 60-and-over age category. He won a gold medal in men’s doubles, a silver in men’s singles and a bronze in mixed doubles along with playing partner Irena Bucci.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Colby Carthel Free youth football camp planned

    Second year Texas A&M University – Commerce Head Coach Colby Carthel and his coaching staff will be the directors of a free A&M Commerce Youth Football Camp.

    July 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • Carver.jpg Officially for the record

    Two former Greenville schools are now officially recognized for their accomplishments in sports through new signage at the T. A. “Cotton” Ford Stadium.

    July 12, 2014 2 Photos

  • LeBron_James_18112009_1.jpg LeBron: I'm heading back to Cleveland

    Before anyone ever cared where I would play basketball, I was a kid from Northeast Ohio.

    July 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0000066_official_dixie_softball_patch_300.jpg Commerce to host Dixie Softball tournament

    The city of Commerce has partnered with the Dixie Softball to host the Darlings and the Debs Softball State Tournament at the Eddie Moore Sports Complex again this year.

    July 10, 2014 1 Photo

  • Campbell Lady Indians listen 1.jpg Coach Steve Guffey touched many lives

      Steve Guffey was a true sportsman in every sense of the word.
      Guffey, who died on Saturday at the age of 50, was a standout athlete and coach, who was also an avid golfer, angler and hunter. He was an educator. teacher, mentor and a friend to many who’ve been paying their tributes online and at candlelight vigils on Sunday in Ladonia and on Monday in Campbell.  Guffey’s memorial service is set for 2 p.m. Wednesday in the Campbell High School gymnasium, where he coached the Lady Indians’ basketball team the past 12 years.

    July 8, 2014 1 Photo

  • Jason Burton.JPG A&M-Commerce hires Burton as women’s basketball coach

    Lion women’s basketball experienced a homecoming of sorts on April when athletics director Ryan Ivey announced Jason Burton as the eighth women’s basketball coach in program history.

    July 5, 2014 1 Photo

  • Lone Oak, Caddo Mills softball players make all-state team

      Two players from Lone Oak and one from Caddo Mills earned second-team honors on the Texas Sports Writers Association’s Class 2A all-state softball team.

    July 1, 2014

  • Kevin Bowers chip 1.jpg Former Baylor golfers win Monster Ball golf tourney

       Baylor University was well-represented at the third annual Craig Bowers Memorial Monster Ball golf tournament this weekend in Greenville.
      Two teams composed of former Baylor golfers finished first and second after 36 holes at Wright Park Municipal and Oak Creek Country Club.

    June 24, 2014 8 Photos

House Ads
Featured Ads
Poll

Does Dallas head coach Jason Garrett need for the Cowboys to make the playoffs during the 2014 football season to keep his job?

Yes
No
Who knows with Jerry Jones as owner?
     View Results
Facebook
AP Video
Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming UN Security Council Calls for Gaza Cease-fire Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating 13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Real Estate News