Via Sports Illustrated
After the 2014 Finals loss to the Spurs, LeBron James has left the Miami Heat to return to Cleveland for the 2014-2015 NBA season. As reported by Sports Illustrated, the 29-year-old, four-time MVP will return to the Cavs, the team with which he spent the first seven years of his career.
"When I left Cleveland, I was on a mission," James told Sports Illustrated's Lee Jenkins. "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."
James' presence on the Cavs makes the franchise an immediate contender in the relatively weak Eastern Conference. The Akron-born superstar joins stellar PG Kyrie Irving, recent No. 1 draft pick Andrew Wiggins and reliable role players Luol Deng and Anderson Varejao for the likely starting lineup for next season.
After the heavily-criticized Decision to leave Cleveland for Miami in the summer of 2010, many questioned whether LeBron could return to his original team. Upon leaving, Cavs owner Dan Gilbert issued a letter in Comic Sans calling James' Decision a "cowardly betrayal" and "heartless and callous action," promising a championship ring for Cleveland before Miami's Big 3 won.
Without James, the Miami Heat face a lineup crisis in the coming years. As Dwayne Wade's knees crumble into old age and Chris Bosh flirts with Houston, the superstar core of the Heat is rapidly cooling. "Miami, for me, has been almost like college for other kids," LeBron told SI. "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."
For Spurs fans, this is good news. As with any rapidly formed NBA powerhouse, it takes at least a season for a team's quirks to be worked out and the chemistry to come together. And, of course, James' return to the Cavs offers an abundance of trash talk options: Kingslayers, No You Didn't, etc.