Tag: Miami Heat

Detroit Pistons v Cleveland Cavaliers

LeBron James in his own words on why he chose Cleveland


LeBron James handled his decision much, much better this time around.

Kept his head down, and while the storm swirled around him he didn’t talk. A lot of other people did, he didn’t. Then when it came time to make his decision, there was no television show, just an essay in Sports Illustrated co-authored with the brilliant Lee Jenkins on why this was a good idea. No Jim Gray, no questions. Just LeBron getting to say what he wanted how he wanted.

[ MORE: Who else do Cavs sign to surround LeBron? ]

You should read the entire thing. But to do it some justice, here are some excerpts of what LeBron said and why he made his decision.

Remember when I was sitting up there at the Boys & Girls Club in 2010? I was thinking, This is really tough. I could feel it. I was leaving something I had spent a long time creating. If I had to do it all over again, I’d obviously do things differently, but I’d still have left. Miami, for me, has been almost like college for other kids. These past four years helped raise me into who I am. I became a better player and a better man. I learned from a franchise that had been where I wanted to go. I will always think of Miami as my second home. Without the experiences I had there, I wouldn’t be able to do what I’m doing today….

When I left Cleveland, I was on a mission. I was seeking championships, and we won two. But Miami already knew that feeling. Our city hasn’t had that feeling in a long, long, long time. My goal is still to win as many titles as possible, no question. But what’s most important for me is bringing one trophy back to Northeast Ohio.

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…

But this is not about the roster or the organization. I feel my calling here goes above basketball. I have a responsibility to lead, in more ways than one, and I take that very seriously. My presence can make a difference in Miami, but I think it can mean more where I’m from. I want kids in Northeast Ohio, like the hundreds of Akron third-graders I sponsor through my foundation, to realize that there’s no better place to grow up. Maybe some of them will come home after college and start a family or open a business. That would make me smile. Our community, which has struggled so much, needs all the talent it can get.

[ MORE: LeBron implies Dan Gilbert’s letter was a mistake, but absolves owner ]

From LeBron’s Instagram page.

LeBron James going home, to sign with Cleveland Cavaliers

LeBron James

Thomas Wolfe was wrong, at least about LeBron James. You can go home again.

LeBron James is heading back to the Cleveland Cavaliers, and he announced the decision on his own terms.

LeBron, via Lee Jenkins of Sports Illustrated:

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.

Wow. Wow. Wow.

For a long time, many didn’t believe the Cavs had a serious chance to lure LeBron back, but they did it.

In Cleveland he will be welcomed home like the prodigal son. 

[ RELATED: Why LeBron is going home, in his own words ]

And with Kyrie Irving in the fold and a number of decent to good young players (Tristan Thompson, Dion Waiters, Andrew Wiggins) this is now a team that is a contender to win the East. Their youth and playoff inexperience is going to leave them short of the top teams in the West, but the Cavaliers certainly could make the Finals, LeBron James’ fifth in a row. This is a team with a lot of potential.

The Cavs also have the draft picks and assets to make some moves and go after some veterans and bigger names, including Kevin Love.

LeBron is also the first domino to fall in what should be a rush of free agent signings such as Carmelo Anthony, Chris Bosh, Pau Gasol, Luol Deng, Lance Stephenson and others. 

LeBron played his first seven years in Cleveland, but after some terrible management moves they we’re unable to put a quality team around him. The Cavaliers with LeBron made the Finals once and he grew frustrated with the organization and talent.

So he teamed up with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh and formed a super team in Miami — and it worked on the court, the Heat went to four straight NBA Finals and won two titles. However, off the court how LeBron handled the announcement was a public relations disaster — “The Decision” is mocked to this day and it pummeled LeBron James image.

[ MORE: LeBron implies Dan Gilbert’s letter was a mistake, but absolves owner ]

In the last four years the rules of the new Collective Bargaining Agreement — in which the owners slashed the players share of revenue by seven percent and put in rules to make it very hard to form or maintain a super team — have eroded the Heat. Pat Riley, for years, has mostly been limited to adding minimum-salary players or a couple who made slightly more. Some worked, such as Ray Allen, and others didn’t, such as Michael Beasley.

But Riley couldn’t easily add the kind of young, athletic players the Spurs had and beat the Heat with in the 2014 Finals, guys such as Kawhi Leonard.

One of the hard-line owners who pushed for those super team restrictions? Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert.

Now he wants one of his own — the Cavaliers just signed Kyrie Irving to a max extension and have LeBron, now they are trying to swing a trade for Kevin Love. That would likely take the inclusion of No. 1 pick Andrew Wiggins in a deal, and even that may not be enough.

Heat owner Micky Arison responded this way:

Cavaliers’ owner Dan Gilbert’s reaction:

And finally, from LeBron’s Instagram page.

Report: After cross-country plane flight with him, Dwyane Wade doesn’t know what LeBron James will do

Miami Heat v New York Knicks

Dwyane Wade spent much of the last several days hanging out with LeBron James at his skills camp and going out to dinner and clubs with him in Las Vegas.

What does that mean? The two are good friends.

Wade then went from Vegas to Miami with LeBron on his private jet, before LeBron flew on to Brazil for the World Cup final.

What does that mean? They both live in the same city and shared a flight.

Beyond that, don’t read much into it. In fact, after all that Wade doesn’t know what LeBron will do, reports Adrian Wojnarowski at Yahoo Sports.

LeBron James is taking his time with a huge decision — that is not only his right, it’s the smart thing to do. When you’re faced with a big, difficult life decision you talk it over with family and take your time trying to make the best choice. In this case LeBron doesn’t owe us or anyone else (not the Houston Rockets on the clock with Chandler Parsons and an offer to Chris Bosh) anything. He’d probably like to make a decision before going to Brazil for the World Cup — it’s hard to fully enjoy anything when you have a decision constantly occupying part of your thoughts — but he doesn’t have to.

There have been media reports (some from respectable reporters) of the certainty of LeBron returning to Cleveland, but it sounds like LeBron doesn’t know yet. Understand that there are people around to LeBron who have pushed this for some time and want to see this happen — LeBron and his posse had the complete and total run of the Cavaliers organization for years, they had real power and influence that they do not have in the same way in Miami. There are basketball reasons you can argue for LeBron to return to Cleveland, but that’s not always everybody’s motivation.

LeBron has matured these past four years — leaving Cleveland was like leaving home to go to college for him and like all of us when we first moved out of our parent’s house we matured. The question now is does he want to go back home or not?

Only LeBron can answer that, and it’s a big question. It sounds like he doesn’t know, so he is taking his time.

Could getting Chandler Parsons cost Dallas Vince Carter and/or Shawn Marion?

Vince Carter

The Dallas Mavericks made an aggressive, bold play to get Chandler Parsons out of Houston. They signed him to a three year, $46 million offer sheet (with a player option in the third year and a 15 percent trade kicker) and, after a short delay to discuss a sign-and-trade deal that fell apart, presented that offer to the Rockets.

Here’s why that’s a brilliant stroke:

Houston had 72 hours from the time they got the offer to match. Houston also has a proposed max offer for Chris Bosh out there — but Bosh is not making a decision until LeBron James does because if LeBron goes to Miami Bosh is going back, too. Houston does not have the cap space to match Parsons then make its offer to Bosh. Instead they have to make a series of trades to move Jeremy Lin and others to clear out cap room, sign Bosh to a near max deal then they can match Parsons, but that is going to be a lot to get done in the little more than 48 hours left. The clock is ticking and Houston may have to choose Parsons or gamble on Bosh.

Dallas has made sacrifices here too.

To clear out cap room for the Parsons offer Dallas had to renounce their Bird rights (and remove the cap holds) for Dirk Nowitzki, Shawn Marion and Vince Carter.

That’s not a big deal in this sense — they can still re-sign those guys. What it means is they can’t offer the oversized home-team contracts and can’t go over the cap to sign those guys. However, Nowitzki already said he was returning to the Mavericks at a discount, so that is moot — they can sign him to a three year contract in the $10 million range (our own Dan Feldman projects if Dallas gets Parsons and renounces other players still on roster, then back load Devin Harris’ contract the most Nowitzki can make for three years is $29,542,328).

If Dallas gets Parsons they will use the remaining cap space they have to get Harris and Nowitzki signed.

But that means they can use the room exception (two years, $2.7 million per year) for Carter or Marion, then the other gets a minimum offer at best.

Both of those guys had good years and will have other teams making calls and inquiring. If Marion gets a minimum contract offer from Dallas but also gets one from Miami or Cleveland (whatever LeBron chooses) will he go chase a ring there? What if another team with cap space comes in a little over the minimum, or offers their biannual exception?

Obviously, as good as Carter and Marion played for Dallas last season, Parsons brings a lot more to the table and younger. But Dallas wanted both those guys back and if Parsons arrives there will be questions. (If Houston matches, Dallas will have room to make better offers.)

Report: LeBron James still upset by Dan Gilbert’s infamous letter

LeBron James

LeBron James has never been arrested. He’s never gotten into a public feud with teammates or coaches. He’s never become embroiled in any controversy away from basketball.

However, he once changed teams as a free agent.

For that, Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert wrote, “This shocking act of disloyalty from our home grown ‘chosen one’ sends the exact opposite lesson of what we would want our children to learn. And ‘who’ we would want them to grow-up to become.”

The sting of those harsh words doesn’t fade easily.

Chris Broussard of ESPN:

One reason, if not the major reason, that LeBron James has taken so long to decide whether to play in Miami or Cleveland next season is the infamous letter Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert penned about James after the superstar left Cleveland in 2010, sources said.

“If it wasn’t for that letter, this would’ve been done awhile ago,” one source said.

I wouldn’t blame LeBron for still holding a grudge over that letter – especially because, as of this year, Gilbert was still defending it and the Cavaliers’ official website was still hosting it.

But I question the timing of this leak. If LeBron were still so upset by the letter, how did the Cavaliers remain in contention for his services so long?

Neither the Cavaliers nor Heat offer all positives or all negatives. If one did, LeBron would have already made his decision. LeBron could still pick Cleveland and remain furious about the letter. No matter which team he picks, he’s not going to a perfect situation. He must weigh what matters most to him.

But the letter was released four years ago. LeBron should have been factoring it – and Gilbert’s presence – all along. Why is it suddenly getting more consideration now?

Maybe LeBron is leaning toward returning to the Heat, and he’s laying the groundwork for that decision. The letter gives LeBron a reasonable reason to reject Cleveland, and he might want everyone focused on that, even though there are obviously more considerations in play.

I don’t know. It’s just a theory.

I do know Gilbert’s letter was heinous, and I still haven’t gotten over the disgustingness of the tone. (See, if that were LeBron’s strategy, it’s working.)