It's official: LeBron James is returning to the Cleveland Cavaliers, announcing the move in an exclusive first-person essay with Sports Illustrated. This time around, there's no talk about winning "not two, not three, not four championships." No, this time around, he's much more humble, acknowledging the difficulty he'll have raising the Cavs from a Central Division afterthought to NBA contender:
I’m not promising a championship. I know how hard that is to deliver. We’re not ready right now. No way. Of course, I want to win next year, but I’m realistic. It will be a long process, much longer than it was in 2010. My patience will get tested. I know that. I’m going into a situation with a young team and a new coach. I will be the old head. But I get a thrill out of bringing a group together and helping them reach a place they didn’t know they could go.
I don't doubt he'll do it, whether it's building around the new core that includes Kyrie Irving and Andrew Wiggins or if the Cavs turn over their roster to acquire Kevin Love, as has been rumored.
Either way, LeBron's homecoming completely changes the landscape of the Central division and will make life that much more difficult for the Detroit Pistons in the coming years, let alone the 2014-15 season. As Sean Corp pointed out last night on the @detroitbadboys Twitter account while speculating about LeBron's return:
Ouch. That's a murderer's row of small forwards, and one the Pistons must address in terms of personnel if they have any hopes of being competitive. Any ideas how? Now your thoughts.