AP Photo/Bill Kostroun
It's official, LeBron James is headed back to the Cleveland Cavaliers.
The basketball superstar made the announcement Friday morning in an interview with Sports Illustrated, saying, "Before anyone ever cared where I would play basketball, I was a kid from Northeast Ohio. It's where I walked. It's where I ran. It's where I cried. It's where I bled. It holds a special place in my heard. People there have seen me grow up. I sometimes feel like I'm their son. Their passion can be overwhelming. But it drives me."
James added, "I want to give them hope when I can. I want to inspire them when I can. My relationship with Northeast Ohio is bigger than basketball. I didn't realize that four years ago. I do now."
He further explained his reasoning for going back to his home state, telling the mag, "I always believed that I'd return to Cleveland and finish my career there. I just didn't know when. I have two boys and my wife, Savannah, is pregnant with a girl. I started thinking about what it would be like to raise my family in my hometown."
He finished off with one final thought, "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…I'm ready to accept that challenge. I'm coming home."
James originally signed with the Cavs in 2003—the forward was drafted out of high school as the first overall pick. In 2010, he left Cleveland for the Miami Heat where he won two NBA Championships.