After one championship in four consecutive NBA Finals with the Cleveland Cavaliers, LeBron James signed with the Los Angeles Lakers in free agency.
Despite a successful second stint where James finally delivered on his promise, he recently admitted the Kyrie Irving trade to the Boston Celtics was ‘the beginning of the end.’ While Irving threatened to have knee surgery if he was not traded, James reportedly told the Cavaliers not to honor the request.
As James prepared for his second return, there were questions about what type of reception he would receive. During the 2010-11 NBA season, he was booed throughout the game as a member of the Miami Heat and ‘will never forget’ the experience.
Eight seasons later, they honored James with a tribute video and standing ovation for his 11 seasons early in the first quarter, according to Cavaliers:
— Cleveland Cavaliers (@cavs) November 22, 2018
From ‘The Decision’ to owner Dan Gilbert’s letter, both James and the Cavaliers have learned from their mistakes. Since the 33-year-old could very well finish his future Hall of Fame career with the Cavaliers, Gilbert is looking forward to retiring his jersey number.
As the Cavaliers are rebuilding, the Lakers are looking to end their five-year playoff drought. Following a 0-3 start to the 2018-19 season, James and the young core are 10-4 and they will play six of their next seven games at the Staples Center.
While it was an emotional game for James, he is focused on the present and will eventually reflect on his career. Along with being one of the best players of all-time, James opening the I Promise School in his hometown will go down as his greatest achievement.