|LeBron James says a return to the Cleveland Cavaliers is a possibility. (ESPN)|
LeBron James set aflutter the hearts of basketball fans in his former NBA home on Thursday, telling reporters in Cleveland that he would consider a return to the Cavaliers later in his career. James' Miami Heat are in Cleveland to face the Cavaliers on Friday night.
The Associated Press reports that James, an Akron, Ohio, native, said that a return to Cleveland was a possibility, although he is happy with how things have turned out in Miami. Of course, he made international headlines by bolting the Cavaliers during the summer of 2010 to form the Miami Heat's Big 3 with All-Stars Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh.
Asked if he could play for the Cavs again, James initially paused before giving his answer."Anything is possible," Wade told the AP regarding a possible James return to Cleveland. "Hopefully, I'm retired."
"I don't know. I think it would be great," he said. "It would be fun to play in front of these fans again. I had a lot fun times in my seven years here. You can't predict the future and hopefully I continue to stay healthy. I'm here as a Miami Heat player, and I'm happy where I am now, but I don't rule that out in no sense.
"And if I decide to come back, hopefully the fans will accept me."
When James announced he was headed to Miami during a nationally-televised special called "The Decision," fans in Ohio burned his jerseys and Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert publicly accused James of disloyalty and betrayal, guaranteeing that the Cavaliers would win an NBA title before the Heat.
On Thursday, James said that was all water under the bridge, according to ESPN.com, and admitted that he didn't handle his departure in the proper manner.
The Plain-Dealer reports that Gilbert will not respond to James' comment for fear of receiving a fine from the NBA league office.
"I don't hold grudges, I hold them a little bit but I don't hold them that long," James said. "He said what he said out of anger. He probably would want to take that back, but I made a mistake, too. There's some things I'd want to take back as well. You learn from your mistakes and move on."
When James returned to Quicken Loans Arena for the first time during the 2010-2011 season, he was met with heavy booing and dozens of signs and shirts mocking him.
"It doesn't sting anymore," James said, according to the AP. "The booing isn't as bad as it was last year so it's not even a big deal."
In case you were wondering, James' current contract runs through the 2015-2016 season. He has an early termination option for 2014-2015 and a player option for the final year of the deal, according to StoryTellersContracts.com. He will be 31 years old when the entirety of the deal is completed.
James, 27, spent his first seven NBA season with the Cavaliers. He is averaging 28.0 points, 8.2 rebounds, 6.8 assists and 1.7 steals in 36.9 minutes per game this season, and he's a leading NBA MVP candidate.