Windhorst: Before it’s All Over, LeBron Will Play for Cleveland

I’m not saying it’s happening in 2014, but before it’s all over, LeBron [James] will play [for] Cleveland. He will get a statue; they just built a statue for Jim Thome and he stiffed Cleveland just as much as LeBron. In the end, he goes back to the Cavs and he’s remembered as a great player and not as a villain. I might be proven wrong, but that’s my read on the situation.

– Former Cavaliers and current Miami Heat beat writer Brian Windhorst in a recent Heat Index Live chat for ESPN. He followed said statement up later in a Truehoop  5-on-5 saying that “and when it does happen the Cavs fans, for the most part, will welcome him back.”

[Related: Thompson: Friendship with LeBron “Out the Window” When on Court]

  • Yorxlnc41

    Oh, no,no,noooo,…We don’t want his washed up, trying to make up for anything year (s). That bridge is burned, demolished, destroyed… Thome didn’t embarrass himself and the city of Cleveland in front of the rest of the country. It’s over so stop it already… 

  • Chucky Brown

    I hate what he did, and have cursed him many a time

    with that said,

    why wait?, come back tonight. Id kill to see him play with K.I.

  • Anonymous


    and trying to equate a MLB player is a nice touch (1 baseball player doesn’t impact a team nearly as much as 1 NBA player).   not to mention how the announcement was made or a bunch of the other comments made since. 

  • Anonymous

    Once we have a team that is respectable with young guys able to compete he may try to come back.  Do we really want him, or would it be so much sweeter to do it without him?  We don’t need to bring someone in that is going to choke it away in the playoffs.

  • Slooz

    What was Windhorst smoking when he said that? 

    “They will welcome [us] as liberators.” Yeah. Okay.

  • Anonymous

    I hate to admit it.  I would take him back, too.  I just want a frickin ring.

  • Mark Skog

    Wow. Given that Windy is from here, I’m surprised he has misread the situation so badly. James will never be welcomed back with open arms. He will never be accepted on that level. A statue? Windhorst is delusional.

  • St. McDuck

    Haha. Never lose that sense of humor, Mr. Windhorst.

  • I’d love to have him back so I can finally complete my personal jihad.

  • Floydrubino

    i needed this for a good laugh today

  • Humboldt

    Mark, I disagree. What would it say about us if we couldn’t learn to forgive a guy who made one lousy decision in his mid-20s, especially if he acknowledged his mistake (he has) and expressed a desire for redemption?   

  • Anonymous

    Windhorst does realize that Boss Gilbert is young and has no apparent plans on selling the team, right?

    Forget if the fans want or would welcome him back, there is slim to no chance Gilbert would allow him back into that arena in a Cavalier uniform.

    This reeks of Windhorst assisting in the damage control to #6’s tarnished legacy which started this summer.

    Not to mention the Thome thing was a complete PR stunt by the Tribe front office to bolster ticket sales in a dying season.  There was never any “oh we really want to give the old fella a proper send-off” sentiment involved.

  • Bulldogs 3

    People welcomed Jim Thome back because while he may have left a team going downhill for more money, he’s genuinely a good person. Lebron is not a good person, he’s a villian and wants to be. Thome has done everything right in his career and James should takes notes on him.

  • swig

    Well, if he decided he was willing to admit to making a mistake, then maybe.  But, that would imply he had a personality overhaul from where he is right now.

  • BuckeyeDawg

    It would be MUCH MUCH sweeter to do it without him.  And raise the banner the night his team plays us.  And retire Z’s number at halftime of the same night….

  • 5KMD

    I’m taking my talents to…West 6th street?

  • Anonymous

    Does coming back ever work? Methinks not often.

  • Rsala

    No way…He left Cleveland in the dust for his own personal gain.  He doesnt respect the city, so the city shouldn’t respect him.  I would much rather have a player that isn’t as good, but plays for the team (like Big Z), than a good player thats selfish like lebron.  

  • Anonymous

    Never wanted Thome back; don’t want Lebron back. Case closed.

    Apparently either Windy was out sick that day and some bone headed intern was posing as him or he’s really been brainwashed by the folks at the four letter network.

    Seriously though, you can’t equate those two situations at all.  To do so is to under estimate the impact of that disgusting tv special. I don’t want that self serving low life anywhere near the Cavs.

  • “and when it does happen the Cavs fans, for the most part, will welcome
    him back.” <- NO THE HELL WE WON'T!


    Brian Windhorst is a fat slob.

  • Harv 21

    If anyone thinks Gilbert would go for that after what he did to placate LeBron, his mother and posse o’ fools for years, only to be publicly humiliated … I suggest reading those excerpts of Raab’s book that contain Gilbert quotes on the subject. Even if that’s what delusional LeBron hopes will resurrect his rep, Gilbert was and remains a pitbull. He won’t forgive, and it won’t happen.

  • Humboldt

    Swig, he did admit to making a mistake last December:

    “If I could look back on it I would probably change a lot of it. The
    fact of having a whole TV special, and people getting the opportunity to
    watch me make a decision on where I wanted to play, I probably would
    change that. Because I can now look and see if the shoe was on the other
    foot and I was a fan, and I was very passionate about one player, and
    he decided to leave, I would be upset too about the way he handled it.”


  • Floydrubino

    “boss gilbert”

    who cares what he thinks

    the fans are the boss

    he lost money in a business deal and this is why he was mad

    we are mad because our owners of sports teams have thrown up donuts to us loyal fans for how many years

    lebron james had a chance to be one of the greatest players ever in the history of the nba

    now he is on dwayne wade’s team and i heard that he runs and gets dwaynes lunch every day(if wade wants it that way)

    lebron left because he is as dumb as a box of rocks with no conscious

    great traits to have in your superstar

    I mean this when i say i am glad he left

    he represents nothing about cleveland sports and the fan base

    we waited this long i am glad we did not sell out to just win one with him

  • Anonymous

    Why doesn’t Larry Doby have a statue, again?

  • Humboldt

    How foolish of a person/business man would Dan Gilbert be not to accept Lebron back on his team?  Gilbert does not have much humility (or other redeemable traits as far as I can see) but letting his ego get the better of him on a decision like this would be fatuous

  • Chuck

    It just goes to show you the quality of the drugs they have in Miami.

  • AMC

    Totally with Harv 21 on this – regardless of whether fans would accept this (I’d say it was around 90-10 accept to not accept with Thome, where I’d say it would be much closer to 50-50 with LeBron), there’s NO WAY Gilbert would ever allow for it as long as he owns the team.  How could he given the way LeBron left?

  • Floydrubino

    i am shock that people act like it is gilbert’s decision. It was a terrible predicament that gilbert was in but he never even knew what lebron was doing in that last year. He should of stepped up and called lebron out after he gave up in the boston game. He was quiet then because he did not want to lose money and he was walking on egg shells around lebron hoping he would stay. If i lost this much money overnight i would cry like gilbert but if you think gilbert’s rant was because he was mad for clevelands fans then your wrong. The city of cleveland would never allow this to happen and this is who decides whether we give statues not mr quicken loan from michigan

  • Guest

    And you’re an idiot.  Brian Windhorst is the best reporter in the NBA.


  • Humboldt

    What’s your rationale for not wanting Lebron back?

  • Windy discounted the biggest roadblock for LBJ to return to the Cavs…. Mr. Gilbert.
    Love or hate either of them, no chance of it happening until Gilbert is gone.

    (not calling for Gilbert’s head, just sayin’)

  • Windhorst is just trying to create a story. Jim Thome as we all know didnt have the Decision, and Jacobs didnt write a letter to the fans saying how much of a piece of crap Thome is. Unless the Heat dont win for 10 years, the Cavs win at least 1, and Gilbert sells the team this wont happen.

  • Harv 21

    he quit in Game 5. He quit on his teammates, his organization and the city that revered him. Was that another lousy decision bya young guy, or is that symptomatic of a different kind of defect? No thanks.

  • Floydrubino

    puff puff give windhorst

  • Humboldt

    Harv, I wouldn’t take a few quotes in Raab’s book as some immutable truth. Things change. Wounds heal. People grow. Humans are ultimately pretty adaptable.  The fervor behind our hatred of Lebron is already a fraction of what it was a year ago.

  • Ah, but to dream.
    ideally, that’s the best scenario. But unrealistic.
    More likely the Heat will be raising their banner when the Cavs are in town, knowing our luck, LOL.

  • Smjcb61

    Windy has obviously spent too much time in that south Fla. sun.

  • Personal attacks will not be tolerated.

  • My left brain agrees.
    My right brain is pouting in the corner.

  • Humboldt

    Whether he quit or not is still open to debate. But even accepting your premise that he did quit, I’m willing to see that moment in the larger context of a person’s life/development.

    You seem to believe Game 5 represents some sort of global pathology for Lebron, but remember, he sure didn’t quit on the team his previous 6 seasons; in fact, he carried less talented teams deep into the playoffs mostly on the strength of his character/effort.

  • Albert

    I would love to root for LeBron again. He’s a joy to watch play basketball. If he apologized for the idiotic special, I’m on board.

  • Mark Skog

    I’m not saying he SHOULDN’T be welcomed back, I’m saying he WON’T be welcomed back. No chance. Look at the comments. The fans won’t be accepting to the point where he gets a statue for Gods sake.

    As others have noted, Dan Gilbert holds a grudge with the best of them. I just can’t see it that bridge being crossed.

    I also think you are being a bit disingenuous when you call it “one lousy decision in his mid-20’s.” It was a pretty big lousy decision.

  • Humboldt

    “Lebron is not a good person, he’s a villian”

    I can see you don’t tolerate moral ambiguity so well, sir

  • PNR

    I don’t think that qualifies as an apology.

    “Because I can look now . . . .”  Why wasn’t he able to look at it back then?  It’s a BS public relations ploy, nothing more, nothing less.

    In other words, “to the extent that people were offended, I regret that mistakes were made.”

  • Absolutely–right after Carlos Boozer signs as a FA, and the zombie-fied corpse of Ted Stepien rises from the grave, consumes Dan Gilbert’s brain, and assumes control of the Cavs.  It will all happen the same day that Randy Lerner sells the Browns to Art Modell, while the Indians sign Charlie Sheen to come out of the bullpen.

    Gonna be a big day around here, fellas. December 21, 2012 I reckon. 

  • Anonymous

    We will erect Lebrons Statue and Windhorst’s behind it. 

  • Anonymous

    Get them scott…wait, is my icon a personal attack on Art Modell?

  • Anonymous

    Simply put, as stated above, that bridge is burned. The guy took all he wanted from this city/team and when he got bored of it, embarrassed the city/team/fans in a celebration of himself on national tv. Also, by the context of the comment, in relating it to Thome, we’d be getting him back broken down and used up, no thanks.

    I want to see a championship for this city but not at the cost of welcoming back a self worshiping egomaniac like Lebron James. I know that makes me smug and I don’t care.

  • Anyone else read that book about the Whore of Akron?  In it, he has a little paragraph where he imagines talking to Art Modell (not LeBron).  And he says something like this:

    “I’d ask him what he thought about leaving this city like he did.  But, then I’d think that his answer might be this:  maybe he’d just break down and cry about the regrets all men have in their lives that they can do nothing about before they die.”

    It made me think.