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LeBron James to Cleveland: Owner, player finally reconcile

LeBron James and Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert are reunited after an ugly split four years ago

The letter sat on the Cleveland Cavaliers' website for four long years, penned out of ire and fire with a touch of sadness thrown in.

Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert called LeBron James just about every possible name that wasn't a curse word, starting his open letter with an appeal to "All Of Northeast Ohio and Cleveland Cavaliers Supporters Wherever You May Be" on July 8, 2010.

He proceeded to call James a deserter, slamming his "shocking act of disloyalty" and "shameful display of selfishness and betrayal" for leaving the sports wasteland of Cleveland for the warmer, friendlier shores of Miami.

As fans burned James jerseys and derisively referred to their former hero as "LeGone," Gilbert made one more prediction in his letter, this part in ALL CAPS.

"I PERSONALLY GUARANTEE THAT THE CLEVELAND CAVALIERS WILL WIN AN NBA CHAMPIONSHIP BEFORE THE SELF-TITLED FORMER 'KING' WINS ONE"

Yeah, he was wrong about that. The Heat won two championships in James' four years there. The Cavaliers won two No. 1 picks in the lottery.

Good thing no one took Gilbert's declaration to the bank. As it became more and more apparent that James could return to his home state, the letter was removed from the Cavaliers' website earlier this week.

Now they're back together, Gilbert and James, officially reuniting Friday with James penning an open letter of his own on SI.com.

"I've met with Dan, face-to-face, man-to-man," James said. "We've talked it out. Everybody makes mistakes. I've made mistakes as well. Who am I to hold a grudge?"

It was a letter written with hope and happiness, a lot different from the one that came out of Cleveland four years and three days earlier.

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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