LeBron James on why he left
May, 12, 2011
By Henry Abbott
In case you missed it in today's Daily Dime, Brian Windhorst reports on one of the biggest stories in NBA history. Now that LeBron James is telling his version of the thinking behind the Decision, we learn the Celtics play a starring role:
First, he praised the Celtics, a team he respects but also extremely dislikes. Then he did something he's been waiting to do for months and months, something he hasn't been able to bring himself to speak out loud until now, when the sentiment of the situation lowered his guard.
He apologized for leaving Cleveland and explained why he felt he had to do it.
"I knew deep down in my heart, as much as I loved my teammates back in Cleveland and as much as I loved home, I knew it couldn't do it by myself against that team," James said.
"The way it panned out with all the friends and family and the fans back home, I apologize for the way it happened. I knew this opportunity was once in a lifetime. To be able to come down here and pair with two guys and this organization -- in order for me to move on with my career, that team that we just defeated, we had to go through them." ...
Pierce always had the playoffs on James. The Celtics small forward beat him in a showdown Game 7 in 2008 when they both scored more than 40 points. He beat James last season when Pierce's defense mocked James' most valuable player status. Pierce even beat him a few times this season, lampooning James on Twitter by saying "it's been a pleasure to bring my talents to South Beach" after the Celtics won in Miami in November.
On Wednesday, James at last got him back, the coup de grace being a steal and dunk that finished the game in the final minute. As he hung on the rim he looked back at Pierce, an in-game beating of the chest. ...
"A lot of people doubted," James said. "We knew we were going to make it work."