NBA

LeBron James' Cavaliers return influenced by me says Carmelo Anthony

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LeBron James' decision to jump ship from the Miami Heat this summer in favor of a triumphant return home to Cleveland may at first glance seem to have little to do with Carmelo Anthony.

Official news on LeBron's decision 2.0 came a full 24-hours before Melo confirmed he would be sticking with the New York Knicks for instance. And, if you believe some reports, James even came close to staying with the Miami Heat precisely because Carmelo Anthony was in discussion about joining the South Florida franchise during free agency.

Neither incidents point to the controlling hand of Melo in James' Cavs move that is for certain.

Carmelo Anthony however would beg to differ.

Regain the love

Speaking at a recent Q&A session Anthony expressed his belief that LeBron James' decision to return to his home state franchise was influenced by his own reception, and reputation, amongst his home town fans in New York City.

"No. Honestly, I think it was the other way around," Melo said when asked whether LeBron's return to Cleveland helped sway his own decision to stay in NYC.

"I think he saw when I came back home to New York and saw the response and saw the reaction and saw how at peace I was when I came back home. 

"I'm pretty sure he looked at that moment and saw that that was a very special moment, and he had the opportunity to go back home himself and regain that love," continued Anthony.

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Home Comforts

LeBron, in explaining his decision to leave Miami for Cleveland after four successful years with the Heat, was keen to emphasise the importance of home-town values that is for sure - describing the desire to complete unfinished business with his home town franchise.

In that regard perhaps Melo has a point. 

Anthony moved from the Denver Nuggets to the Knicks back in 2011 and was immediately held up as the Knicks' key figure due to his Syracuse roots and unquestionable talent.

Changing focus

LeBron had only been in Miami for a year at that point however and his mind was most likely focussed solely on adding rings to his fingers rather than being close to family. He knew that to be competitive he had to leave Cleveland in 2010.

Now though, with two rings to his name and the Heat roster seemingly in decline, a return to the Cavs this summer made perfect sense for LeBron - just as much for his own NBA ambitions as family ties.

The added benefit of having seen his long-time friend Carmelo Anthony's relationship with his home town team blossom was likely only a very small foot note in the grand scheme of things.

Anthony may like to think that he played a part in LeBron James big 2014 homecoming parade, but in reality it is more likely the four time NBA MVP's own changing focus and appreciation of what was best for his career that brought about the offseason Cavs switch.

Can't blame Melo for trying to take a little credit though.

Topics:
Miami Heat
LeBron James
New York Knicks
NBA
Cleveland Cavaliers

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