LeBron James' Miami Heat exit fuelled by Mike Miller amnesty?

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LeBron James explained in his open letter this summer that his decision to return to the Cleveland Cavaliers was based largely on his desire to return 'home'. And that is hard to deny considering all that the four-time NBA MVP has said since regarding his affection for Ohio.

One of his new teammates in Cleveland however, Mike Miller - a man with whom LeBron fostered a close relationship with during their time together at the Miami Heat - has added another layer of intrigue to the story today.

Speaking to the veteran identified the Heat's 2013 decision to amnesty his contract as an example of LeBron's growing displeasure with the Miami front office's handling of affairs - an issue that was raised on several occasions this summer to explain James decision to jump ship.

"LeBron thought it was an unnecessary change," explained Miller when discussing the move which saved the Heat $17 million in salary and luxury tax but left them without a key role player and close personal friend of James.

"I'm not saying I would have been the difference-maker. San Antonio was unbelievable last year and there are a lot of things that go into a season, but it was difficult for LeBron.

"It was difficult for all of us. It was difficult for me. I had to uproot my family and move again. It was tough. I think he (LeBron) was disappointed because he understands legacies and he understands what he wants to do in life. That's what makes him special."

A close bond

When you look at what LeBron has had to say on Miller this past week, describing him as the closest teammate he has had in his career, it is hardly surprising that Miller's amnesty prior to the 2013-14 season after three years with the franchise left something of a sour taste.

Both players joined the Heat in 2010 and their quick bond on and off the court produced almost immediate benefits for the team - something the duo's two title rings attest to.

But, in a bid to free up cap space for future plans, Miami rid themselves of Miller last summer and, whilst he was never one of the key men for the Heat, his absence coincided with the Heat's failure to bring back a third consecutive title.

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Rumored unrest

With Miller and LeBron reunited in Cleveland, the decision by the Heat front office has now been brought up as one of the early examples of LeBron James' apparent unhappiness with the regime.

Other stories noting LeBron's frustration have emerged over recent months. From his rumored frustration with Heat owner Micky Arison's failure to recruit big in the aftermath of the big three's arrival in 2010, to his slight jealousy of their treatment of Heat lifer Dwyane Wade, this latest revelation only adds to the suggestions that all was not as rosy as it seemed between LeBron and Miami.

LeBron James
Cleveland Cavaliers
Miami Heat

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