LeBron James is returning home.
As his website proclaims, the NBA superstar is "just a kid from Akron, Ohio." And now he is returning to nearby Cleveland and couldn't be happier to be back where it all started.
"I want kids in Northeast Ohio, like the hundreds of Akron third-graders I sponsor through my foundation, to realize that there's no better place to grow up," James said in an open letter posted on SI.com. "Maybe some of them will come home after college and start a family or open a business. That would make me smile. Our community, which has struggled so much, needs all the talent it can get."
"In Northeast Ohio, nothing is given. Everything is earned. You work for what you have," he added. "I'm ready to accept the challenge. I'm coming home."
James left the Cavaliers in free agency four years ago to pursue championships in Miami. He got two with the Heat, and now he wants his hometown to experience the same feeling.
"Our city hasn't had that feeling in a long, long, long time," James said of Cleveland, which hasn't won a championship in one of the major professional sports since the Browns did so in the pre-Super Bowl days. "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."
And in pursuing that goal, James also gets to come home -- and nothing could make him happier.
"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," James said. "I looked at other teams, but I wasn't going to leave Miami for anywhere except Cleveland. The more time passed, the more it felt right. This is what makes me happy."