LeBron James is going back to the Cleveland Cavaliers in one of the most dramatic moves in league history.
Until 2010, LeBron spent his entire life in northeast Ohio, growing up poor in Akron before getting drafted by the Cavs straight out of high school in 2003. When he left for Miami at the age of 25, it was the essentially the first time he lived away from home.
In his Sports Illustrated essay announcing his return to Cleveland, he said the four years he spent in Miami were his college years.
“Miami, for me, has been almost like college for other kids. These past four years helped raise me into who I am. I became a better player and a better man. I learned from a franchise that had been where I wanted to go. I will always think of Miami as my second home. Without the experiences I had there, I wouldn’t be able to do what I’m doing today.”
LeBron never went to college. He has been famous since he was 16 years old. It’s easy to forget how young he still was when the debacle that was “The Decision” happened.
It’s hard to say whether or not LeBron “grew” as a person during his Miami years. But he certainly grew as a basketball player. He added a post game and worked himself into incredible shape. In his first year in Miami, the Heat was still Dwyane Wade’s team. By the end, it was LeBron’s.
If college is where we go to become adults before returning home, LeBron’s description of his Miami years is pretty perfect.
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