LeBron James says winning NBA title isn't 'main reason' he left Miami for Cleveland

In his now infamous 2014 "I'm coming home" letter where he announced his return to the Cleveland Cavaliers, LeBron James stated that he was looking forward to bringing a championship to Northeast Ohio. Two years has gone by since that letter and so far James hasn't led the Cavs to a championship.

However, James has led Cleveland to two straight NBA Finals appearances. But with the Cavs on the brink of elimination against the Golden State Warriors, it is beginning to look like LeBron's goal of winning a championship for Northeast Ohio is unlikely to happen this year. But for James, winning a championship with the Cavs wasn't the only reason he came back to Cleveland.

LeBron James screams in Game 3 of the NBA Finals
LeBron James has his eyes on the prize. USATSI

"Well, for me, I think from a basketball standpoint, that's one of the reasons why I came back, but it's not the main reason I came back," said James to reporters on Sunday. "It wasn't the only reason I came back, and there wasn't just one reason why I came back.

"Me personally, what I'm able to do off the floor as well with my foundation and me being back home and me being -- last summer I was able to guarantee all my kids in my program college scholarships. I'm able to do so many things because I'm actually there, hands on, with my foundation and things that go on. I'm able to up lift the youth in my community and also in other communities. Even though you're able to do it from afar, if you're actually there, I think it's even more meaningful to kids that look up to you for inspiration."

James' foundation has indeed, done a lot of good work in his hometown of Akron and the surrounding communities. Like the college scholarship program James mentions, which will give full scholarships to over a thousand children. And like James says, he actually takes parts in his foundation's programs, making appearances and interacting with participants involved, which has to be a big deal for the children that are also involved. After all, it's LeBron James we're talking about here, one of the biggest basketball stars in the entire world.

James' decision to return to Cleveland has been filled with plenty of ups and downs but he understands the big picture. Winning a championship is the ultimate goal, of course, but James is more than just a basketball player and he recognizes that. And even though James hasn't led the Cavs to a championship yet, he has become a champion of Cleveland, as essentially everyone in the area is rooting for him to bring a title to the city.

Winning a championship may not be James' ultimate goal for why he re-signed with the Cavs but for him, it is a focus that has never changed since he entered the NBA.

"Since I was drafted in 2003 ... my goal was to bring a championship to Cleveland, and it hasn't changed." James said. "When I left, my goal was to bring a championship to Miami. That didn't change. And when I came back, it hasn't changed. So, ever since, for me -- since I went to high school in '99, that's been my goal, since '99, was to win a state championship, to win an NBA Championship. So that goal has never changed."

CBS Sports Writer

Ananth Pandian has been writing about all NBA-related things including the social and lifestyle aspect of the sport for CBS Sports since 2015. His name is actually easy to pronounce, just remember it is... Full Bio

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