The King Shocked The World Again: LeBron James Takes His Talents Back To Northeast Ohio

LeBron James, after serving his four-year term as the lead dog for the Miami Heat, has made the decision to take his talents back to Northeast Ohio and return to the Cleveland Cavaliers.

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.

If you don't mind, give me a moment as I question my entire faith and belief in the basketball gods as I wonder how we could ultimately get to this place on July 11, 2014.

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.

There will be plenty of hot takes on LeBron's journey back to Cuyahoga County, but the only takeaway I have from this is a simple one. LeBron James is a real man.

We've never seen a professional athlete with the stature of LeBron ever be this big. Not big physically, but big with integrity. LeBron's bigger than people burning his jersey. LeBron's bigger than an owner writing the most comically heinous letter of all-time. LeBron's bigger that having a false sense of loyalty, to Northeast Ohio or South Beach. Per the letter given to Lee Jenkins, LeBron's biggest priority is to do right by his family, his supporters closest to him and being loyal to himself.

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'd suggest everyone go and read the letter in full, as I can't remember someone being as self-aware while showing humility like LeBron did in that letter. This isn't a praise-fest for LeBron, but in an era where perceived power is seen in money, titles and star power, real power is doing what's right for you. The questions of winning a championship, roster movement and the future state of the NBA will be discussed ad nauseum, but for one day...I'll take the time to reflect that the impossible can indeed be possible. That sports, like life, can surprise us again and again. The King did it again, the right way. Go home LeBron, enjoy it.

Related: LeBron James, Kyrie Irving And The Potential Of The 2014-15 Cleveland Cavaliers

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