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Report: Heat 'blindsided' by LeBron James decision to return to Cleveland

By Matt Moore | NBA writer

Pat Riley never saw it coming. (USATSI)
Pat Riley never saw it coming. (USATSI)

More on LeBron's return: James chooses Cleveland | Doyel: Welcome back to Ohio

The Miami Herald reports that the Miami Heat were 'blindsided' by LeBron James' decision to return to the Cleveland Cavaliers Friday.

ESPN reports that James did inform Pat Riley and Mickey Arison prior to the SI.com essay on Friday, but I'm sure that comes as small relief.

Meanwhile, Mickey Arison admitted as such:

Miami had been the prohibitive favorite to land James since James, Chris Bosh, and Dwyane Wade had met over lunch before free agency started. The three then opted out of their contracts, further fueling speculation that that decision would only have been made if they were already in agreement on a plan to return.

Wade traveled with James back to Miami Thursday night, which may have been something of a 'farewell' trip for the two of them.

Without James, the Heat face a major rebuilding project with no longterm pieces. The Cavaliers even have the rights to their draft pick. We broke down Miami's depressing situation here.

The entire way through this process, Miami-based media remained confident based off their sources that James would return. It truly does seem like no one in the Heat organization expected James to make this move, even if in retrospect, it seems like it had been coming for years.

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