Cue up Diddy, Cleveland fans: LeBron James is coming home!
The superstar free agent announced the news himself today in a personal essay for Sports Illustrated, spurning the Miami Heat and other clubs anxious for his very impressive services.
Of the fans in Cleveland and his native region in general, James writes:
"I want to give them hope when I can. I want to inspire them when I can. My relationship with Northeast Ohio is bigger than basketball. I didn’t realize that four years ago. I do now."
James went on to thank everyone in the Heat organization, emphasizing that his decision to leave was all about the opportunity in Cleveland and no reflection of any kind on anyone in Miami.
"Our city hasn’t had that feeling in a long, long, long time," writes the four-time MVP, who is expecting a third child with wife Savannah Brinson this year.
" 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."
James said he has met with Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert, who wrote a scathing letter about LeBron when he left for Miami four years ago.
He also understands why so many fans were angry at him back in the day.
He's excited to work with the young talent on the Cavs, "but this is not about the roster or the organization," says the 29-year-old star.
"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."
Somewhere, Cleveland fans are trying to figure out how to get burn marks off their old LeBron #23 Cavs jerseys.
And somewhere else, Heat fans are now buying Cleveland jerseys.