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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.
This was actually well written by LeBron.. Good job on that.. As I predicted..he definitely wants to win one for Ohio.. and he did meet with Dan Gilbert...surprised nobody leaked that they did meet.
ok so lemme get this straight, the fuckin bandwagoners that jumped on the Heat train are gone now ok.... and the native Clevelanders that renounced Lebron and burned his jerseys, called him traitor, they have no right to call themselves LeBron fans... So how many legit fans does LeBron have left, hahaha, holy fck this is hilarious.....
I personally would have told the world I wanna go to Cavs but not while Dan Gilbert is an owner... and then sat back and watched what happens
and look here another important point I wanna make is, does anyone realize that LeBron just dug himself into a hole he will now never dig himself out of.. I mean once the dust settles and he wins a few in Cleveland maybe even surpassing MJ, but then people are gonna realize yea he won championships, but not the way MJ and Kobe won chips because they did it by manning up and sticking with one team their whole life, they didnt bounce after a few years of hardship.....
LeBron is now going to be seen with a suspicious eye because of this... and rightfully so I fully agree because I'm one of those guys that refuses to mix up the teams at drop in men's league basketball because one team is on a multiple game win streak and too good for the other teams. I literally will stay on a shitty team for the whole night just to get that one win against the powerhouse team...
And that's my 90's mentality, but I guess this is the new age method of gunning for championships.... super duper teams
__________________ (oO:::\___/:::Oo) (DPE-wheels) // Satin Cocaine White
Bennett finally looks healthy/in game shape after the historically awful rookie year.
First big free agent domino fell now its Melo's turn. I wanna see Pau on the Thunder, they might finally have a passing/low post savant in the post or the Spurs the ball would never touch the court big to big passing clinic.
Funny how Houston literally gave away Lin and a first round pick.
To offload that 15m cap space and not taking any salary back. Fuck yeah for them.
Lakers gonna make a shit tons of money from China with Lin and Kobe on the team. They don't give a fuck about winning. No Bron, no Melo, no Love, no nothing. Looks like another "we'll tank but we'll make it a bit exciting" year for them.