LeBron James says he won’t rule out a return to Cleveland, though he should rule out talking for a while

By: Kels Dayton

CLEVELAND—LeBron James back with the Cavs?!

It’s possible, the former Cleveland icon says.


James said Thursday that he wouldn’t mind returning to Cleveland, the city which he jolted at the altar just last summer in the most ill-advised publicity stunt in sports history.

James has made some head-scratching comments in the past, but this one might take the cake. (AP Photo)

“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, where they will take on the Cavs on Friday for the third time since James bolted for Miami.

“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.”

But what about the owner, Dan Gilbert, who penned an ALL-CAPS response to James’ Decision, calling LeBron the “self-titled former King” and “narcissistic, cowardly and heartless”?

“Dan is not the coach,” he said. “I can play for any coach. We’ll see what happens.”

“I don’t hold grudges, I hold them a little bit but I don’t hold them that long,” James said. “He 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.”

Now, James has been known to make impulsive and often head-scratching comments in the past, but this one may rank as the dumbest. Why would LeBron want to stir the pot once again in the place where he is public enemy No. 1, dishing out false hope and backhanded promises like a douchebag ex-boyfriend?

There are many theories to the mystery of James’ much-maligned psyche, but maybe it’s as simple as this: He doesn’t think.

James is so eager to please everyone and assert himself as a one-name global brand that he feels as though he must weigh-in on every issue in which his name is mentioned. He has overrated his importance in the world, underrated our intelligence, and completely abandoned the filter that directs traffic between brain and mouth.

James' comments would have upset the fans in Miami, if there were any. (AP Photo)

It might be that LeBron is too honest, and that he truly could envision a day when he triumphantly returns to Cleveland, burying the hatchet with one slap of Talcum powder at midcourt.

But that ain’t gonna happen.

And he shouldn’t talk about it.

He probably thinks that Cavs fans would be delighted to hear that he still thinks highly of them—or still wants their money, either way—and is willing to come back and bless them with his presence.

He undoubtedly believes that one dunk in a Cleveland uniform would erase all of the ill will that has built up in the city since “The Decision”, disappearing like spilled milk into a Brawny paper towel.

But what LeBron doesn’t understand is that his whimsical musings aren’t being received with crossed fingers in Cleveland. His breakup with the Cavs was Brad Pitt-Jennifer Aniston times ten, and no amount of half-hearted, self-indulgent conjecture is going to make Cleveland want him back.

They hate him now, and that’s not going to change.

Still, the superteam with the super-sized mouths keeps talking.

Dwyane Wade, who helped convince James to leave Cleveland two years ago, admitted he could see James going back, although not in the near future.

LeBron needs to realize that honesty is not always the best policy when it comes to protecting your image. (AP Photo)

“Anything is possible,” Wade said. “Hopefully I’m retired.”

“Time heals a lot of things and LeBron had many special years here,” Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra said. “There probably will be a time in the future where he will be embraced and acknowledged for the great run that they had here. It’s a new chapter for their organization and they’ve got a bright future ahead.”

It’s mind-boggling that James’ head coach and partner-in-crime would be openly discussing the possibility of him leaving Miami, especially given the fact that he’s only been there for one season and the team has yet to deliver on the first of upwards of seven championships James promised when he got there.

Maybe that South Beach heat has gone to all of their heads.

Former Cavs teammate Daniel Gibson understands the temperature in Cleveland, and can’t envision LeBron ever coming back.

“I don’t think he’d be welcome,” Gibson said. “Not with the way that went down. It was a pretty tough situation. I’m sure they wouldn’t feel comfortable with that at all.”

James still expects to be booed like Santa Claus in Philadelphia when the Heat take on the Cavs Friday night, but doesn’t think it will have much of an impact on him.

Much like his comments, which will ring hollow in a city that is trying to forget the “King” and all of his clueless, arrogant actions.

But hey LeBron, there is one thing you can do for all of the fans in Cleveland.

Shut up.

Information from The Associated Press and ESPN’s Brian Windhorst was used in this report.

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