LeBron James is taking back his original No. 23 as he returns to the Cleveland Cavaliers after wearing No. 6 during his four seasons with the Miami Heat.
Before announcing his decision, LeBron James asked the fans to weigh in with their choice. He didn’t poll the man most famous for wearing that number in the NBA, but he apparently has his blessing.
LeBron James is taking back his original No. 23 as he returns to the Cleveland Cavaliers
In a text message to ESPN, Michael Jordan wrote: “I’m cool with it. I don’t own a number.”
Michael Jordan wore No. 23 during the majority of his career with the Chicago Bulls and Washington Wizards.
When LeBron James made the switch to No. 6 in Miami, he suggested the NBA retire No. 23 in honor of Michael Jordan.
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LeBron James has announced his return to the Cleveland Cavaliers, the team where he began his NBA career 11 years ago.
LeBron James, 29, made the announcement in an interview with Sports Illustrated on July 11.
The NBA star has been a free agent since July 1 after opting out of the final two years of his Miami Heat contract.
“I always believed I’d return to Cleveland and finish my career there,” LeBron James said.
LeBron James, named the NBA’s most valuable player on four occasions, quit his contract in Miami last month.
He would have earned $42.7 million in the two years left on his deal.
LeBron James’ decision sparked a scramble for the player, but he revealed a return to his home state of Ohio was always in his thoughts.
LeBron James has announced his return to the Cleveland Cavaliers (photo AP)
“After last season, free agency wasn’t even a thought,” he said James.
“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 home town.
“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.”
After joining the Cavaliers as the first draft pick in 2003, LeBron James rose to superstardom over the next seven years before he was tempted to Miami in 2010, where he formed a devastating partnership with Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade.
His announcement on leaving for Miami was made during a staged ESPN television show called The Decision.
It led to a backlash from Cleveland fans who burned LeBron James jerseys in anger.
LeBron James, who would have earned $20 million next season, won NBA titles with Heat in 2012 and 2013. He also led Miami to the NBA Finals in 2011, when they lost to Dallas, and 2014, when they were heavily beaten by San Antonio.
News of LeBron James’ departure was announced over the loudspeaker at Cleveland airport and Cavaliers ticket phone lines crashed, reported ESPN.
In 2010, Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert wrote an open letter criticizing LeBron James and describing his departure as a “shocking act of disloyalty” and a “shameful display of selfishness and betrayal”.
However, on Friday Dan Gilbert tweeted: “My eight-year-old: <<Daddy, does this mean I can finally wear my LeBron jersey, again?> Yes it does, son. Yes it does!”
In Miami, a mural featuring LeBron James was defaced – according to South Florida news station WPLG Local 10.
Heat owner Micky Arison tweeted: “I am shocked and disappointed in today’s news. However I will never forget what LeBron brought us for four years. Thanks for the memories.”
In addition to the Sports Illustrated interview, LeBron James posted a photo of himself in a Cavaliers uniform on Instagram with the phrase: “I’m coming home”.
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Dwyane Wade’s ex-wife Siohvaughn Funches is in the midst of an apparent meltdown as she has taken to the streets of Chicago carrying a sign saying the Miami Heat guard has left her homeless and ranting about his “$90 million contracts” in an apparent attempt to humiliate the NBA star.
Siohvaughn Funches has been seen carrying the sign, which reads “NBA Miami Heat star mother of his children on the street”, around Dwyane Wade’s native Chicago, where he and his former wife were high school sweethearts and married in 2002.
The couple divorced in 2007 after having two children together, Zaire Blessing Dwyane Wade and Zion Malachi Airamis Wade.
Earlier this month, Siohvaughn Funches filed a new lawsuit against Dwyane Wade – who signed a six-year contract with the Heat in 2010 worth $107 million – over the splitting of proceeds from his many endorsement deals.
With his salary and endorsements, Dwyane Wade made a total of $26 million last year, landing him at the number 12 spot on Sports Illustrated‘s “Fortunate 50” list of the top earners in professions sports.
Dwyane Wade’s ex-wife Siohvaughn Funches has taken to the streets of Chicago carrying a sign saying he has left her homeless
The lawsuit, filed on July 9, in Cook County Circuit Court, claims that Dwyane Wade is not depositing proceeds from his endorsement deals into a joint account controlled by the two of them – as required by their 2008 divorce settlement.
That agreement had previously been tossed out in domestic court following the couple’s bitter custody battle. It was later restored after Siohvaughn Funches appealed the decision.
In the suit, Siohvaughn Funches claims she’s unable to pay her mortgage and insurance on her home and cars because Dwyane Wade’s withheld his endorsement earnings from companies like Gatorade, T-Mobil and Staples.
Following the couples’ divorce, Dwyane Wade was awarded sole custody of the two children as Siohvaughn Funches routinely bashed him in the media.
Siohvaughn Funches’ latest lawsuit against the hoopster claims breach of contract and civil conspiracy. She seeks a total of $2 million in damages.
Dwyane Wade, who just won the NBA Championship with the Heat, has been romantically linked to actress Gabrielle Union since 2007.