LeBron James, peacemaker with Cleveland.
Not that the wounds there can ever be fully healed, but he’s trying. He extended an olive branch Thursday, again saying he handled leaving poorly and he would someday consider returning. At least he’s trying to say all the right things.
The Heat are in Cleveland to take on the Cavs Friday, and here are LeBron’s direct quotes, via Brian Windhorst of ESPN’s Heat Index. Starting with him answering if he would consider a return to the Cavaliers.
“I think it would be great, it would be fun to play in front of these fans again,” James said after the Heat’s practice Thursday at Quicken Loans Arena.
“I had a lot of fun times here. You can’t predict the future. Hopefully you continue to stay healthy. I’m here as a Miami player and I’m happy where I am now but I don’t rule that out in any sense. If I decide to come back, hopefully the fans will accept me….
“I don’t hold grudges, I hold them a little bit but I don’t hold them that long,” James said. “(Cavs owner Dan Gilbert) said what he said out of anger. He probably would want to take that back, but I made a mistake, too. There’s some things I’d want to take back as well. You learn from your mistakes and move on.”
Is there anything LeBron does rule out, that he doesn’t flirt with? He might do the dunk contest, he might return to Cleveland, he might eat at Lola Bistro after the game. Or he might not. Frankly, he likely will not do any of those things. (Although he should eat at Lola.) He keeps his options open.
James isn’t going anywhere soon — his legacy rests with the Heat now. He has to win titles (multiple) there to reach the levels he seeks. There is no turning back from the decision now. He has two more years on his deal with an option for two after that, and he’s not leaving in that span.
But could he end his career back with the Cavs? Could he and Gilbert make up? Stranger things have happened.