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article imageIs LeBron James leaving Miami to fulfill promise to Cleveland?

By Marcus Hondro     Jun 24, 2014 in Sports
LeBron James, the man who walked away from his home-state Cleveland Cavaliers to win two championships with the Miami Heat, will soon be a free agent. James, his agent Rich Paul said, has exercised his early-termination option with the Heat.
But that doesn't mean he won't remain with the Miami Heat. Exercising his contract, in effect tearing it up, simply means he can sign with anyone he wants, including the Miami Heat. He's given no indication, nor did Mr. Paul, that he won't remain with the Heat and move to another franchise.
But the 29-year-old could.
NBA teams can begin negotiating with free agents July 1 but cannot sign them until July 8, so the speculation could very well play on for some time. Both Heat teammates Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh are in a similar situation and could also opt-out of their current deals. James has indicated the three of them will get together and talk about the possibilities open to them.
LeBron James: Promised Cleveland an NBA title
Something to remember in all of this is that James did once tell fans of his hometown team in Cleveland — actually he's from Akron, but they're close — that he'd be sure to win them an NBA championship before he was done there. He made this statement with such a conviction that combined with his immense talent it seemed a certainty.
But following seven seasons in Cleveland, reaching the finals in 2006-07 (the Cavs were swept by the San Antonio Spurs) he bolted to Miami. But in the Sept. 2010 edition of GQ magazine he added a wrinkle to the story before his first year with the Heat began: he left open the door to fulfilling his promise to Cleveland by telling G.Q. reporter J.R. Moehringer that "if there was an opportunity for me to return and those fans welcome me back, that would be a great story."
Was it a casual remark or did the Ohioan mean it? And is his opting out of his deal with the Heat merely the first act in a play that will see him again in a Cavalier jersey? Was an instagram post from wife, Savannah - a map of the Ohio with a star denoting Akron and the words "Home Sweet Home!! The countdown is real! #330" - simply about their yearly return to their home-state for the off-season, or about returning to the Cavs.
It's all open for speculation now.
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