When LeBron James announced that he was returning to the Cleveland Cavaliers some couldn’t believe what they were hearing. You don’t go back, you move forward. The thought of James ever rocking a Cavalier uniform again seemed far-fetched at best. He was coming off his first two championships in Miami and going for a third. No way was he leaving South Beach for the gray skies of Cleveland.
The Spurs embarrassed James and his Heat squad, leaving him with doubt of whether this was the last ride Dwyane Wade’s knees could handle and if this supporting cast was that good. Then James opted out. Did Cleveland have a shot at landing James? Maybe. As free agency got under way the Cavaliers inked their young superstar point guard Kyrie Irving to a max extension worth $90 million. James was fielding offers from Cleveland, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami and Phoenix.
As free agency dragged on, James had everyone waiting. Chris Bosh was leaning towards signing with Houston if James left. Carmelo Anthony was weighing offers from Los Angeles, New York and Chicago. Wade was talking to Chicago. What was LeBron’s plan? Finally news broke that only Miami and Cleveland were still in the running for LeBron’s services. Then came the Sports Illustrated letter saying James is coming home.
Just like in 2010 James caught everyone off-guard by his decision. After the childish way Cavalier Dan Gilbert acted in wake of James’ initial departure there was no way he would return. Sure enough we were wrong. If you followed the 2010 free agency you know that those events didn’t happen in the eleventh hour, but two years prior. James, Bosh and Wade knew they were playing together before they hit free agency. Did James do it again? Did he know he would go to Cleveland and team up with Kevin Love and Irving? Let’s break down some conspiracy theories and see how they add up.