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Will LeBron go back home?

Will LeBron go back home?

Posted by Liliana Castaño on July 08, 2014

LeBron couldn't do it again -- could he? He wouldn't rip out Cleveland's heart again.

Would he?

Right now Cleveland is dreaming itself a LeBron James dream, and if Cleveland is wrong -- if Cleveland is setting itself up to be crushed in 2014, just as Cleveland was crushed in 2010 -- this won't be Cleveland's fault.

It'll be LeBron's fault.

LeBron has done this. He said in February 2012 that "I think it would be great" to return to Cleveland and that "I don't rule that out" and furthermore: "If I decide to come back, hopefully the fans will accept me."

For two years LeBron has refused to back off those statements, and then last month he opted out of his contract with the Heat to become a free agent. The narrative in some circles, especially in South Florida, is that LeBron opted out for technical reasons, not because he was truly going to leave Miami. He and the other one-third of the Big Three -- LeBron is two-thirds of that thing; aging Dwyane Wade and fading Chris Bosh are the other 33.3 percent -- opted out for the most benevolent reasons: to give Heat president Pat Riley the freedom to rewrite their contracts and upgrade the roster.

That was the narrative -- and it made sense, right? But then LeBron's agent scheduled meetings with teams in other cities, including the one in Cleveland. And then someone leaked it, someone from LeBron's camp most assuredly, that LeBron wasn't going to take a discount in this contract like he did in the last one. LeBron is a max player and he wants a max contract, and whoever signs him -- it'll be Miami, right? -- will have to give him what he wants.

But the longer this thing goes, with LeBron's agent said to be pushing for Cleveland and neither LeBron nor Wade nor Bosh actually re-signing and the Heat being unable to upgrade their roster -- adding Josh McRoberts and Danny Granger is "changing" the roster, not upgrading it -- Cleveland gets its hopes up. As well it should.

And not a word from LeBron. Not a quote, not a tweet, not an Instagram picture, not a damn thing. Not even a leak from a well-placed source to suggest that Cleveland needs to start preparing for the inevitable disappointment.

Nothing from LeBron.

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