LeBron James officially rejoined the Cleveland Cavaliers on Saturday afternoon.
James, who opted out of his contract with the Miami Heat following the team’s NBA Finals loss to the San Antonio Spurs, and Cleveland agreed to a two-year deal worth $42.1 million.
A four-time league MVP, James has averaged 27.5 points, 6.9 assists and 7.2 rebounds since turning professional in 2003 out of St. Vincent–St. Mary High School in Akron, Ohio.
“My relationship with Northeast Ohio is bigger than basketball. I didn’t realize that four years ago. I do now,” James, 29, wrote in an exclusive interview with SI.com titled “I’m Coming Home.”
After James abandoned “The Rock ‘n’ Roll Capital of the World” in favor of “The Sunshine State” in July 2010, basketball essentially became a profane word amongst Clevelanders.
Somewhat remarkably, only four years later, James has resurfaced and the Cavaliers have the makings of a powerhouse on the hardwood.
Even without James, despite finishing 33-49 in the Eastern Conference Central Division, Cleveland was an organization on the brink of rocking.
The Cavaliers and standout point guard Kyrie Irving finalized a five-year pact valued at roughly $90 million on Thursday.
Since being taken first overall out of Duke in 2011, the 22-year-old Irving has averaged 20.7 points, 5.8 dishes and 3.7 boards over 181 games.
Irving is an electric playmaker and dynamic shooter who betters his teammates.
Plus, prior to getting clipped as general manager on February 6, Chris Grant assembled a quintet of lottery talent with Dion Waiters, Tristan Thompson, Anthony Bennett, Luol Deng and Irving.
Furthermore, the Cavaliers acquired Andrew Wiggins with the top choice in last month’s draft.
With James relocating to Cleveland, The Las Vegas Superbook promptly made the Cavs the outright favorites at 3-1 to capture their first Larry O’Brien NBA Championship Trophy next spring.
Already blessed with a loaded roster, speculation is mounting that Cleveland will soon obtain Kevin Love from the Minnesota Timberwolves in exchange for Bennett and Waiters.
The 25-year-old Love, a two-time All-NBA Second Team selection, is one of the association’s premier power forwards.
Love, James and Irving would develop into an absolutely overwhelming trio.
Regardless of where Love ultimately lands, James is no longer considered a hometown turncoat and The Forest City is atop the sports world.
“Bigger than basketball,” LeBron James will bring a few championships to the long-suffering town in “Northeast Ohio.”by