With the basketball world on the edge of its seat, LeBron James has finally ended the suspense and announced that he will be leaving the Miami HEAT and re-joining the Cleveland Cavaliers. James announced his decision on Sports Illustrated along with their Lee Jenkins.
James’ return comes after a four-year stint in which the franchise had the worst winning percentage of any team in the league. During that time, he won four Eastern Conference championships, two Most Valuable Player Awards, two NBA Championships and two NBA Finals MVPs in Miami. James’ return immediately vaults the Cavaliers up the rankings, making them an instant title contender.
During the first seven years of his career with the Cavaliers, James built them into an elite team. However, a 2007 Finals sweep at the hands of the San Antonio Spurs was the highlight of his career with the Cavaliers.
Now, James joins a Cavaliers team that very well could have been playoff bound even without his return. The franchise has a legitimate star to pair him with now in Kyrie Irving, who officially signed a five-year max contract extension with the team on Thursday. The Cavaliers also have the last two top overall draft selections in Anthony Bennett and Andrew Wiggins, along with two other top-five picks in Dion Waiters and Tristan Thompson. Anderson Varejao, the lone holdover from the James’ era, also remains on the roster.
The Cavaliers are rumored to be aggressively pursuing Minnesota Timberwolves disgruntled All-Star Kevin Love, so even more changes could be on the horizon.
As much as his departure angered the Cavaliers faithful in 2010, his return is being celebrated. The Cavaliers failed to rebuild into a championship contender like they vowed to after he left, but they did manage to construct a team attractive enough to lure him back, which seemed just as unlikely as reconstructing a title team a short few months ago.
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