NBA.com takes a look back at the top moments that define the history of the NBA.
On July 11, 2014, four years after taking his talents to South Beach, LeBron James ultimately decided he had unfinished business in Cleveland and returned to his original team via free agency.
James’ announcement ended weeks of speculation about his future with teams across the league waiting on his move.
“When I left Cleveland, I was on a mission,” James said in am essay written for Sports Illustrated. “I was seeking championships, and we won two. But Miami already knew that feeling. Our city hasn’t had that feeling in a long, long, long time. My goal is still to win as many titles as possible, no question. But what’s most important for me is bringing one trophy back to Northeast Ohio.”
Two years later, James fulfilled his goal when he led the Cavaliers past the Golden State Warriors in the 2016 NBA Finals, ending a 52-year major sports championship drought in Cleveland.
“CLEVELAND! This is for you!” James bellowed in his postgame interview before being announced as Finals MVP.
James played two more seasons for the Cavs, reaching The Finals two more times, before agreeing to a free-agent deal with the Los Angeles Lakers on July 1, 2018.