Four years after his departure caused a national firestorm LeBron James might be considering a return to Cleveland. Might being the key term. Word spread late Sunday that James’ inner circle, including his wife, are urging the two-time champion to return to Ohio.
LeBron’s agent Rich Paul has given fans in Cleveland a glimmer of hope that the best basketball player in the world may again don the wine and gold. Paul and company have leaked steady reports that James is interested in Cleveland. Well respected NBA journalists have declared their hunch clearly; James is leaning towards signing with the Cavs.
LeBron has been silent on the matter since opting out of his contract with Miami last month. Instead of the face to face meetings that defined his 2010 free agency, James has been vacationing with family while the sports world speculates.
The four-time MVP is coming off another successful season at age 29, albeit one with a disappointing conclusion. Miami was run off the floor by a superior San Antonio team in just 5 games in the Finals. Sidekick Dwyane Wade was largely invisible for most of the series, and his poor play might have James looking for more help.
If James were to join the Cleveland Cavaliers he would be a welcomed addition to a roster brimming with young, unproven talent. Former #1 pick Kyrie Irving recently signed a long-term deal and has the type of potential to lure James on to the roster. The Cavs, who’ve selected #1 overall in the draft three out of the last four years, also have talented 19 year old Andrew Wiggins joining the squad.
Miami Heat President Pat Riley was insistent that he would bring James, Wade and Chris Bosh back to South Beach next year. In a contentious end of year presser, Riley likened the potential departures to quitting and cowardice. Riley and James are scheduled for a meeting this week in Miami to discuss the future of the Heat. If history tells anything, LeBron James is about winning and will change teams if he sees a better situation elsewhere.
James blindsided Cleveland fans in 2010 when he famously uttered the words “I’m taking my talents to South Beach.” Cavaliers fans were seen burning James’ #23 jersey in the streets after the announcement. This go-around James appears to be handling things a little quieter. Many expect a simple announcement in the coming weeks and not a televised special.