Friday, February 17, 2012
Updated: February 18, 3:21 PM ET
LeBron James: I'm focused on Heat
By Brian Windhorst
CLEVELAND -- LeBron James whipped his former fans into a frenzy with open-ended comments Thursday about a possible return to the Cleveland Cavaliers in the future.
On Friday, James moved to calm his current fans in Miami.
"The question is could I see myself playing back (in Cleveland). I said 'yeah' in the sense of I don't know what my future holds and I don't want to take that (option) out. I answered truthfully," James said Friday after the Heat's shootaround at Quicken Loans Arena, where Miami plays Cleveland Friday night.
"But it's all about this season for me and it's all about playing with this Miami Heat team and trying to win an NBA championship. The fans of Miami shouldn't be worried about anything at this point."
All of Cleveland has been abuzz with reaction to James' words earlier, especially when he said, "If I decide to come back, hopefully the fans will accept me."
It re-ignited the city's emotions over James' departure, which had just started to die down after 18 months with the emergence of No. 1 overall pick Kyrie Irving.
Meanwhile, the reaction in Miami was quite different. James is under contract for two more seasons, with options that could keep him with the Heat through 2016. But after James' departure from Cleveland followed a two-year countdown that generated constant national attention, the comments kicked off a belief that it could play out that way again.
"I'm already on LeBron watch; for the most part, everything I do is the LeBron watch," said James, who recently moved his fiancée and two sons to Miami to live during the season.
"I've got everything invested with this team. ... My mindset is on helping this team win a championship and as a team get better every day. I'm looking forward to getting back to Miami and seeing the fans."
Brian Windhorst covers the Miami Heat for ESPN.com.