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LeBron returns to Cleveland: What you need to know
NBA superstar LeBron James announced Friday he would return to the Cleveland Cavaliers, the team he left four years earlier in free agency to join the Miami Heat.
The four-time league MVP and Ohio native said
in an interview posted on that although he wants to win as many championships as he can, "what's most important for me" is bringing a title back to Northeast Ohio. Sports Illustrated
Here's a look at all of the coverage from USA TODAY Sports on the decision that sent shock waves through the sports world:
In announcing his return to Cleveland, LeBron emphasized his Ohio roots. It was a decision that
"is about humanity more than anything else," a USA TODAY analyst wrote.
James was heavily criticized for the way he left Cleveland in the summer of 2010,
but the way he handled his decision this time is drawing more positive reviews.
LeBron James throws powder in the air prior to playing the Cleveland Cavaliers at Quicken Loans Arena on Dec. 2, 2010.
(Photo: Gregory Shamus, Getty Images)
Rumors about where James would end up swirled on Twitter for days.
See how Twitter reacted when the news of his return finally came out.
Christine Brennan writes that LeBron's return "is especially rewarding for Ohioans because it's really all about one thing: coming home."
James was able to control the message in announcing his decision on SI.com, in a piece that
"was a peek into the player's reflective, wistful side that has rarely been displayed."
Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert penned a scathing letter when James left Cleveland four years ago.
How did he and James reconcile?
Ohio pols — from Gov. John Kasich to Sen. Rob Portman —
were quick to welcome their hometown hero back.
Although there was no official reaction from President Obama, White House spokesman Josh Earnest said the president considers James "
a fine young man" who has exhibited "a professionalism that is pretty impressive."
The Cavaliers fell on hard times after LeBron left in 2010.
But his return means professional basketball is back in Cleveland.
And if you're a Cleveland resident,
good luck getting through to the Cavaliers ticket office now that LeBron is back. All circuits at the sales office were busy after the announcement.
Unlike in Cleveland four years ago, it looks like Miami
hasn't taken to burning LeBron jerseys.
It's not just his soon-to-be Cavalier teammates in Cleveland who are happy for LeBron's return. Recently drafted Browns quarterback — and LeBron pal —
Johnny Manziel celebrated the return of King James. Make sure to follow full coverage of all NBA news, including free agency moves.
Read or Share this story: http://usat.ly/1m16mqx
Begins high school at St. Vincent-St. Mary in Akron, leading the varsity team to an undefeated record and Division III state title as a freshman.
Led St. Vincent-St. Mary to a second consecutive Division III state title and became the first sophomore ever chosen for USA TODAY All-USA First Team.
Became first high school player to appear on the cover of Sports Illustrated and the first junior to be named Gatorade National Player of the Year.
Led St. Vincent-St. Mary to its third state title in four years, averaging 31.6 points, 9.6 rebounds, 4.6 assists and 3.4 steals a game as a senior and becoming the only three-time USA TODAY All-USA First Team player.
Won MVP awards at the McDonald's High School All-American Game, the EA Sports Roundball Classic and the Jordan Capital Classic.
June 23, 2003
Declared for the NBA draft and was selected first overall by the Cleveland Cavaliers, the second high school player picked No. 1 after Kwame Brown in 2001.
ROOKIE OF THE YEAR
Won the 2003-04 NBA Rookie of the Year Award.
Named to the disappointing bronze medalist U.S. Olympic team, where his attitude toward sitting on the bench under coach Larry Brown was seen as disrespectful.
January 19, 2005
Recorded his first triple-double on January 19, 2005.
Selected for the NBA All-Star Game for first time.
February 19, 2006
Became youngest-ever All-Star Game MVP at 21 years, 51 days old.
July 8, 2006
Signed a three-year, $60 million contract extension with Cavaliers.
Reached his first NBA Finals with the Cavaliers, who were swept by Spurs. To make it there, James put up an all-time great postseason performance (scored 29 of Cleveland's last 30 points, including the game-winner) in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference finals vs. the Detroit Pistons.
Named All-Star Game MVP for the second time but lost in the second round of the playoffs to the Boston Celtics.
Won gold with Team USA at the Beijing Olympics, averaging 18.1 points, 3.6 rebounds, and 4.7 assists a game during the undefeated run.
Named NBA MVP for the first time, becoming the first Cavaliers player to do so.
MORE POSTSEASON DISAPPOINTMENT
Lost in the Eastern Conference finals to the Orlando Magic and left the court without shaking opponents' hands.
Won his second MVP award but again lost in the second round to the Celtics.
July 8, 2010
Became an unrestricted free agent and staged a TV special, "The Decision," to announce signing with the Miami Heat, where he joined friends and fellow Olympians Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh.
THE BIG 3
Advanced to the NBA Finals and lost to the Dallas Mavericks in six games in the Big 3's first season together.
FINALLY, A RING
Named NBA MVP for a third time and defeated the Oklahoma City Thunder in the NBA Finals, earning his first championship ring and Finals MVP.
Took home a second consecutive Olympic gold medal, at the London Games, and recorded the first triple-double in U.S. Olympic history.
MVP NO. 4, RING NO. 2
Won his fourth MVP award, then beat the San Antonio Spurs in seven games in a memorable NBA Finals for his second Finals MVP and championship.
March 3, 2014
Scored a career-high 61 points against the Charlotte Bobcats.
Earned a fourth consecutive trip to the NBA Finals, where the Heat lost to the Spurs in five games despite strong efforts from James.
June 24, 2014
Informed the Heat that he would opt out of his contract to become an unrestricted free agent.
July 11, 2014
After a free agency frenzy, James announced his return to the Cleveland Cavaliers via a letter in Sports Illustrated.