This, despite the acrimonious way in which he parted with fans, the city and owner Dan Gilbert.
“I think it would be great, it would be fun to play in front of these fans again,” James said (via ESPN) after the Miami Heat practiced at Cleveland’s Quicken Loans Arena. He’ll make his third appearance there since leaving the Cavs on Friday night. “I had a lot of fun times here. You can't predict the future. Hopefully you continue to stay healthy. I'm here as a Miami player and I'm happy where I am now, but I don't rule that out in any sense. If I decide to come back, hopefully the fans will accept me.”
This isn’t the first time James, an Akron native who spends a lot of the offseason in his home state, has talked about returning to Ohio. The first report that he might be growing disgruntled with the Heat and team president Pat Riley surfaced last month.
Home Sweet Home!! Akron Ohio I love u so much. Be my Valentine. Just don’t tell @SavannahRB. She may not approve that! #330— LeBron James (@KingJames) February 15, 2012
“I don't hold grudges, I hold them a little bit, but I don't hold them that long,” James said of Gilbert, who was fined for his comments when LeBron bolted in the summer of 2010. “He said what he said out of anger. He probably would want to take that back, but I made a mistake, too. There's some things I'd want to take back as well. You learn from your mistakes and move on.”
And how might his Heat teammates feel about losing James to Cleveland? “Anything is possible,” Dwyane Wade said. “Hopefully I'm retired [by then].”