“Somewhere in your life, you have to clean up something and be able to move on”: Pat Riley explains why LeBron James reuniting with the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2014 was “courageous” and “selfless”
According to Pat Riley, LeBron James made a courageous move when he decided to reunite with the Cleveland Cavaliers in the 2014 free agency.
After spending the first 7 seasons of his career with the Cleveland Cavaliers, LeBron James made the infamous decision of “taking his talents to South Beach”. Joining the likes of Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh at the Miami Heat was a move Bron thought would help him win rings. Even though the Big Three managed to find success early on, LBJ was considered evil for parting ways with his hometown team.
4 years and 2 NBA titles later, the King decided to reunite with the Cleveland Cavaliers to finish what he had started. The people of Cleveland welcomed their hometown hero with open arms.
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Pat Riley was initially enraged with LBJ’s decision to part ways with the Heat. However, years later, Riley now admits that LeBron’s decision of joining Cleveland for his second stint was rather courageous.
“LeBron James did the right thing”: Pat Riley
In an interview with The Athletic, Riley explained how he understood why James did what he have to. Calling the then-30-year-old’s decision selfless, Pat said:
“I thought it was the most normal thing for him to do,” Riley said. “Somewhere in your life, you have to clean up something and be able to move on. I always felt that even after he left Cleveland and came to Miami for professional reasons, he’s going to have to go back to his hometown one day, or he’s going to have a scarlet letter on him for the rest of his life.
“So that’s a pretty damn courageous thing that he did and selfless thing to go back to Cleveland, to rebuild that team. Had he never done that, there was a possibility that he’d have a hard time being accepted there”
“He did the right thing.”
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In 2016, LeBron managed to achieve the unthinkable as he led the Cleveland Cavaliers to their first title in 50 years… being 3-1 down to the Warriors.
Love him or hate him, you have to give credit to the man for staying true to his words.