LeBron is coming home. He’s returning to Cleveland to bring his hometown its first ever basketball championship. This was probably the most fun, most exciting way that the Decision 2.0 could end. Everyone who hated LeBron for the decision to go to Miami has to rethink to his stance on LeBron now. LeBron left four years ago and learned how to win, how a disciplined franchise is run, and how to lead. Now he can come back to Cleveland and be the veteran leader. He’ll accelerate the development of the entire roster.
Cleveland offered something that no other team could offer LeBron: redemption. Of course, it really wasn’t that simple. Chris Broussard relayed to us that Dan Gilbert’s letter still complicated issues much more than necessary. How could LeBron play for an owner like that?
But as LeBron told us in his Sports Illustrated essay, this was bigger than basketball. This was about returning home, to a city that is not New York. Not Los Angeles. Not Chicago. It’s Cleveland. And LeBron felt he owed his presence to the city. He means more to the city than anyone else alive right now.
And it doesn’t hurt that LeBron happens to be in the middle of his prime. He’s 29 years old and at the absolute peak of his basketball ability. He influences the basketball world in a way that no one else does. He instantly made the Cavs (perhaps incorrectly and prematurely) Vegas’ title favorites (um, Spurs???). The last time he was in Cleveland, he brought them to their first ever NBA Finals. That time, in 2007, they were swept by the Spurs.
This is LeBron’s chance at immortality. He will always be a superhero in Cleveland, but if he can bring them a title, his legacy will be different than anyone who has ever played. His legacy will be incomparable to Jordan, to Magic, and Bird. LeBron has a chance to bring his hometown its first NBA championship. That is something worth coming home for.