Now that LeBron James has made it official and has decided to return to the Cavaliers, the details of how it all came together are beginning to publicly become known. And not surprisingly, it took a certain level of contrition on both sides.
Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert had a lot of apologizing to do for his ill-received letter that lived on the team’s website — intentionally or not — for the last four years, and James reiterated his regret for the way he announced his decision in a nationally televised special.
For four years, the letter had come to define Dan Gilbert, and the owner of the Cleveland Cavaliers wanted to wash away the shame and embarrassment and guilt of it all. So Sunday, Gilbert sat down with LeBron James and his inner-circle and tried to absolve himself of a most wretched moment in time.
“We had five great years together and one terrible night,” Gilbert told James, and so started the process of reconciliation on Sunday night in Miami. “I told him how sorry I was, expressed regret for how that night went and how I let all the emotion and passion for situation carry me away. I told him I wish had never done it, that I wish I could take it back.”
And soon, James told Gilbert that he wished he had never done “The Decision” on cable television and that they had made mistakes together, that they could move past it. From James and his agent Rich Paul and business manager Maverick Carter, the air of peace hung heavy in the South Florida air, the process of returning to Cleveland had begun in earnest. Soon, they had stopped talking about the past and talked about the possibility of a future together and for the first time – truly the first time – the possibility of reunification had become genuine.
You can imagine just how sorry Gilbert was, especially once LeBron returning became a real possibility. As for James, as he stated in his letter announcing his most recent decision, he wasn’t about to hold a grudge — as long as Gilbert was sincere, there would be nothing stopping LeBron from coming home.