Tuesday, October 21, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

James, Cavs owner could mend differences, reunite

LeBron James

FILE - In this Aug. 10, 2013 file photo, Miami Heat's LeBron James greets a young fan while on the way to an interview at his foundation's second annual "I Promise Family Reunion," in Akron, Ohio. As Cavaliers fans breathlessly await a homecoming they never thought possible, the broken relationship between James and Dan Gilbert could get in the way. When James left Cleveland four years ago as a free agent to chase NBA championship in Miami, Gilbert publicly attacked him, calling the superstar’s departure “cowardly” and accusing him of quitting in playoff games. (AP Photo/Akron Beacon Journal, Phil Masturzo, File) MANDATORY CREDIT

By
July 09, 2014 |

CLEVELAND — There was no eye contact, nothing to indicate any reconciliation. The breakup of LeBron James and Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert was beyond bitter.

But now, as James considers a return to the team he abandoned four years ago with an entire region breathlessly awaiting a homecoming it couldn’t imagine in its wildest dreams, it appears there has been some healing between the NBA superstar and his former boss.

Once aligned as basketball partners, James and Gilbert could barely stand the sight of each other during Miami’s games in Cleveland the past four years. It was an intense standoff, awkward and seemingly irreparable.

Time may have fixed their fractured relationship.

Most of the rest of the city has already forgiven James.

Cleveland, without a major sports championship to celebrate in almost 50 years, is praying for a reunion. On Sunday, Cavs fans flocked to social media to feverishly track one of Gilbert’s private jets as it flew to Fort Lauderdale, Florida, where the plane’s occupants dodged reporters and TV cameras with some deception.

It’s not known if Gilbert was on the jet — or if the trip was even NBA-related — but that didn’t douse the free-agency firestorm. As James’ decision nears, there’s a renewed hope the prodigal son will come home.

But in the backdrop looms the James-Gilbert relationship.

James is giving serious thought to returning to Cleveland, to going home and making amends with the city for the one misstep in an otherwise impeccable NBA career. Tuesday is the four-year anniversary of announcing he was “taking my talents to South Beach,” and the city is once again on hold. James is set to meet with Heat president Pat Riley, who was able to lure the four-time league MVP to Miami in 2010 but could be running out of time to convince him to stay.

Two people familiar with the situation said James will meet with Riley “in the next two or three days.” The people spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because neither the team nor James announced their plans publicly.

On Monday, the Heat announced they intend to sign free agents Danny Granger and Josh McRoberts when the league’s moratorium ends later this week. Riley must hope those moves, and maybe another couple, are enough to keep James. The time and place of their critical meeting remains unknown.

James holds all the cards. It’s his choice.

It was the same four years ago, when James ended his seven-year run in Cleveland by linking with All-Stars Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh. The “Big 3″ went on to win two titles and appear in four straight NBA finals, getting crushed by San Antonio this year.

The trio could be splitting up. Wade and Bosh have been waiting to see what James will do, and it’s possible he’s going to go it alone.

On July 8, 2010, “The Decision” played out in a national TV spectacle and was a blow to the collective psyche of Cleveland. Fans here couldn’t understand why James, Akron born and bred, would intentionally embarrass the people who say they loved him most.

In those early hours afterward, some Cleveland fans burned his No. 23 jersey in streets near where his larger-than-life figure towered on a building billboard. It was an ugly scene.

Gilbert added fuel to the inferno.

Cleveland’s dynamic owner, never afraid to offer his opinion, wrote a letter to Cleveland fans, condemning James for a “shameful display of selfishness and betrayal by one of our very own.” Gilbert called James “our former hero” and the “self-declared former King.”

Gilbert also guaranteed the Cavs would win a title before James, a boast he later swallowed when James won his first title in his second year in Miami while his old team went 40-108 in two seasons without him.

Gilbert further ripped James by telling the AP in a phone call that he believed the two-time MVP quit during the playoffs against Boston. “It’s not about him leaving,” Gilbert said. “It’s the disrespect. It’s time for people to hold these athletes accountable for their actions. Is this the way you raise your children? I’ve been holding this all in for a long time.”

He let it all ago, and it caused a mammoth rift with James.

But over the past few years, there has been some cooling between them.

James said he didn’t hold a grudge toward Gilbert, and one day before the Heat rallied from a 27-point deficit in the second half to beat the Cavs in Cleveland, Gilbert offered something of an olive branch on Twitter.

“Cleveland Cavaliers young talent makes our future very bright,” Gilbert wrote. “Clearly, LeBron’s is as well. Time for everyone to focus on the road ahead.”

The road has brought them to an unlikely crossroads: a possible reunion.

If James does come back, he’ll return to a roster of new faces. Center Anderson Varejao is the only player left from Cleveland’s 2010 roster. James will also see a revamped front office, newly hired coach David Blatt and a revived downtown that now includes a casino owned by Gilbert.

When James left, the odds he would ever wear a Cavaliers uniform appeared insurmountable.

Four years later, there’s a chance it could happen.

Hard feelings, however, could get in the way.

 

The Associated Press

The Associated Press

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

.

Solano News

Crime key topic again at Fairfield candidates night

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A5, 10 Comments | Gallery

 
 
Dixon corn maze breaks own world record

By Jess Sullivan | From Page: A5 | Gallery

PAL center seeks volunteers

By Jess Sullivan | From Page: A5, 1 Comment

 
Police Department hosts employee recognition event

By Jess Sullivan | From Page: A5

.

US / World

Police say they might have spotted ambush suspect

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Fashion designer Oscar de la Renta dies at 82

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

Yosemite proposes raising entrance, camping fees

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2, 2 Comments

 
CDC releases revised Ebola gear guidelines

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Clinton: Midterm elections should motivate women

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

 
Surfer fends off shark attack with fist, board

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

WWII airman to be buried in Oakland

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2, 1 Comment

 
Brown: California needs long-term vision on water

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2, 3 Comments

Colorado proposes edible pot ban, then retreats

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2, 1 Comment

 
Submarine hunt sends Cold War chill across Baltic

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Oscar Pistorius to finally learn his sentence

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Youths, tech workers duel over San Francisco field

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Suspect in Va. abduction charged in DC area rape

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Warming Earth heading for hottest year on record

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2, 1 Comment

Lacking a plan, Abbas opts for rhetoric

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

 
Police: Indiana suspect hints at more killings

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

Turkey says it helps Kurdish fighters enter Syria

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Nigeria declared Ebola-free; ‘spectacular success’

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

Urgent-care clinics ill-equipped to treat Ebola

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
GOP governors don’t see ‘Obamacare’ going away

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

British royal couples’ 2nd child due in April

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
.

Opinion

Spering kept youth league going

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A11, 2 Comments

 
Day, Blankenchip good for respective cities

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A11, 1 Comment

‘Misleading’ mailer sent to residents

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A11

 
.

Living

Community Calendar: Oct. 21, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page:

 
.

Entertainment

Yearwood, Santana to perform at World Series

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

 
Standing ovation at Met Opera despite protest

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6 | Gallery

Still the Same: Bob Seger launching tour, album

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6 | Gallery

 
San Francisco radio stations ban hit song ‘Royals’

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

Pitbull to host American Music Awards on Nov. 23

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

 
‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’ actor arrested in Idaho

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

NBC’s Snyderman faces credibility issues

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6 | Gallery

 
Not so fast cordcutters – cable’s not going anywhere

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5 | Gallery

TVGrid Oct 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A11

 
.

Sports

Local Report: Armijo boys soccer team falls to Vintage

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B1

 
Steelers rally past stunned Texans 30-23

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Bumgarner against Shields in World Series opener

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Raiders plagued by 3rd-down defensive woes

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Champion drag racer Raymond Beadle dies at 70

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Stiviano lawsuit against Shelly Sterling dismissed

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

With TD mark in bag, Manning can set more records

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
49ers lose center Daniel Kilgore, needs surgery

By The Associated Press | From Page:

Giants-Royals: A capsule look at World Series

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Belichick, Brady praise Manning on TD record

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Penn State board to meet on disputed Freeh Report

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
McIlroy to skip 2 events to focus on lawsuit

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Column: Keselowski marches to his own beat

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Wanted: Cities interested in hosting 2024 Olympics

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Giants rely on core of 4 relievers

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Royals, fans bond over improbable postseason run

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Voynov suspended on domestic violence suspicion

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
.

Business

Facebook sues law firms, claims fraud

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

 
Apple reports record 39.3 million iPhone sales

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

US regulator: Fannie, Freddie in deal with banks

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

 
Sears plans to raise more cash via rights offering

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

Survey: Pay raises rarer despite strong US hiring

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5 | Gallery

 
US agency warns car owners to get air bags fixed

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

.

Obituaries

.

Comics

Pickles Oct 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Bridge Oct 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

Sudoku Oct 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

 
Baby Blues Oct 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Sally Forth Oct 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Wizard of Id Oct 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Dilbert Oct 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
B.C. Oct 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Crossword Oct 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

 
Frank and Ernest Oct 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Blondie Oct 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Word Sleuth Oct 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

Garfield Oct 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Get Fuzzy Oct 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Baldo Oct 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Rose is Rose Oct 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

For Better or Worse Oct 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Zits Oct 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Peanuts Oct 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Cryptoquote Oct 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

Beetle Bailey Oct 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6