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article imageLeBron James to sign with Cleveland: 'Who am I to hold a grudge?'

By James Green     Jul 11, 2014 in Sports
Cleveland - Friday morning LeBron James told (Sports Illustrated) he intends to sign with the Cleveland Cavaliers. Addressing the unpleasant events that occurred in Cleveland when he took his talents to South Beach James said, "Who am I to hold a grudge?"
LeBron James is going home. The NBA's most desirable free agent announced today he intends to sign with the Cleveland Cavaliers, not with the Miami Heat where he spent the previous four years of his career.
In an article on James said, "My relationship with Northeast Ohio is bigger than basketball. I didn’t realize that four years ago. I do now."
James wrote an essay style article, as told by reporter Lee Jenkins, he wanted an "opportunity to explain (himself) uninterrupted." James dispelled any possible rumors of a rift between himself and anyone in the Heat organization saying, " 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."
There were numerous teams in the hunt to sign LBJ as a free agent including the Suns, Mavs, Rockets, Lakers, Clippers, Bulls, and former team the Heat. Basically every basketball team on the planet was salivating at the idea of landing the four-time league MVP. But LeBron only had eyes for two teams, he told "I looked at other teams, but I wasn’t going to leave Miami for anywhere except Cleveland."
In James' own words he does not believe the Cavs are "ready right now" to win a championship, but he's excited to help his new teammates become the best players they can be. James talked about his new Cavalier teammates, "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."
James is the model of consistency, last season he averaged 27.1 points per game, 6.4 assists and 6.9 rebounds per game, all stats are nearly identical to his career numbers. James was ranked among the top five league leaders in points and field goal percentage, and ranked 11th in assists.
LeBron brings more than stats to the Cavaliers, he is a consummate professional and student of the game. Current head coach of the Denver Nuggets George Karl, who has been coaching since 1978 and was awarded NBA Coach of the Year in 2013, said of LeBron James, “He's the exception to almost every rule. His maturity is the thing that's the most startling about him. His basketball sense has gotten him to where he is.”
The 2013-2014 season ended in an anticlimax for LBJ. He led the Miami Heat to their fourth straight NBA finals appearance, but ultimately lost the series 4-1 to the San Antonio Spurs. James is 2-4 in the NBA Finals but only 1-3 when facing the San Antonio Spurs in the championship series.
Comparisons to the great Michael Jordan have followed LBJ his entire career and will likely never go away. Jordan won six straight NBA championships and received the Finals MVP award in each. James now has two championships of his own and has also won the Finals MVP award in each of his NBA Finals victories. In the 2014-2015 season LeBron and the Cavaliers will be looking to get back to the NBA Finals and bring him his third Larry O’Brien Trophy, and Cleveland's first.
LeBron's return to Cleveland affects other NBA free agents. Chris Bosh is expected to leave Miami and take a max deal with the Houston Rockets (UPDATE: Chris Bosh has told the Houston Rockets he will re-sign with Miami who have offered him 5 year max deal). ESPN reported Carmelo Anthony, the second most sought after NBA free agent, was waiting to hear James' decision before making his own, we should expect Melo to announce his decision soon.
There has been speculation the Cavs may attempt to trade to get Kevin Love from the Minnesota Timberwolves, creating a new Big 3 in Cleveland.
What do you think of LeBron James returning to Cleveland? Can the Cavs land Kevin Love in a trade with the Timberwolves? Are the Cavs now favorites to win the Eastern Conference? Will James wear his old #23 or keep #6 in Cleveland? Leave us your thoughts in the comments!
More about Lebron james, Cleveland, 2014 nba free agents, Miami Heat, Cleveland cavaliers
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