What LeBron James’ 2014 letter tells us about his looming free agency

LeBron James speaks to his fans in the city of Akron after taking the stage during his Welcome Home Ceremony at Infocision Stadium at the University of Akron on August 8, 2014 in Akron, Ohio. (Photo by Ty Wright/Getty Images)

CLEVELAND– LeBron James has until 11:50 p.m. ET Friday to opt in or decline the last year of his contract with the Cavs.

It’s been four years since the Cleveland fans and the NBA were on the edge of their seats waiting on LeBron’s next move. As we wait for The Decision Part III, there are a few hints from his letter in Sports Illustrated about what he could be considering.

Championships:

“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.”

The good news: LeBron helped get Cleveland its first major sports title in 52 years. He kept that promise. The bad news: If three championships isn’t enough for the three-time NBA Finals MVP, he may need to move on to take down the Warriors.

Family:

“I always believed that I’d return to Cleveland and finish my career there. I just didn’t know when. After the season, free agency wasn’t even a thought. But 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. I looked at other teams, but I wasn’t going to leave Miami for anywhere except Cleveland.”

LeBron isn’t just a basketball player. He’s the father of three kids and whatever decision he makes, it will be in the best interest of Bronny, Bryce and Zhuri.

His foundation:

“My presence can make a difference in Miami, but I think it can mean more where I’m from. 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.”

The LeBron James Family Foundation helps thousands of Akron Public School students a year through its I PROMISE programs, provides scholarships as part of its partnership with the University of Akron and will open the I PROMISE School this fall.

While the LJFF was still busy during his Miami years, it’s grown since James returned. His legacy and impact on Northeast Ohio extends way beyond basketball.

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