LeBron James, after pursuing free agency following the 2013/2014 season, has decided to part ways with the Miami Heat and return to the Cleveland Cavaliers.

LeBron James Heading Back To Cleveland

James announced his decision to return to Cleveland with a wordy statement in which he explains why he’s chosen to leave the dynasty in Miami. In short, James wants to return home. The NBA standout, who grew up in Northeast Ohio, felt a call to come back – putting hometown pride and love before the game.

“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,” James wrote in his essay for Sports Illustrated. “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 began his NBA career with the Cavaliers, who snapped him up as the first overall pick in the 2003 draft. He continued to play with the Cavaliers until 2010, when he departed to seek greener pastures – NBA championships – in Miami with Chris Bosh and Dwayne Wade. Now, instead of accumulating more championships with Miami, James is more interested in helping to win at least one in Cleveland.

“When I left Cleveland, I was on a mission. I was seeking championships, and we won two,” Jamed added. “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.”

James continued, “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.”

Though Cavaliers fans and the city of Cleveland in general felt betrayed by James’ departure, he’s sure to receive a warm welcome back home. With James back on the roster, the Cavaliers will likely be able to pick up some more talent, including some worthy veterans. Prior to James announcing he would return to Cleveland, the franchise had freed up more than $20.7 million to give him a maximum contract and was looking to add Mike Miller to their ranks.

Now that James is off to join the Cavaliers, Pat Riley and the Heat are potentially looking at starting from scratch. Wade, while still a force, is plagued with knee trouble and Bosh had been eyeing a lucrative deal with the Charlotte Bobcats should James leave.

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