James talked about his 2014 choice to go home in a 30-minute video from ESPN and Uninterrupted titled The Shop. Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green and 2 Chainz also starred in the video, which was filmed during NBA All-Star weekend but released Friday. The segment took place at Aidan Gill for Men, a New Orleans barbershop.
James brought up his historic move, revealing how his inner circle and family felt about leaving the Miami Heat.
"For me when I decided to go back and I talked to Mav and Rich and Randy and everybody, I had to let them know some people were on the fence," James said. "Even my wife was like, my momma and my wife was like, 'I'm not with that.' My mom was definitely like, '[expletive] that, we ain't going back.'"
James was a six-time All-Star in his seventh season with the Cavaliers when he decided to leave in the summer of 2010 to join forces with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh in Miami. After he announced his decision in a nationally televised event, Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert published a letter on the Cavaliers' website. Gilbert called James narcissistic for the "cowardly betrayal." He also said that the Cavaliers would win an NBA championship before James could get one with the Heat. The letter stayed on the website for four years, before being removed in 2014. James won championships with the Heat in 2012 and 2013.
"For me personally, when I decided to go back to Cleveland, I had to decide like, because our owner at the time when I left decided to put out this article that we all know about where he bashed me and disrespected not only me as an individual, but disrespected my name," James said in the video. "My name is not just myself, it's my wife, my kids, my grandfather, my mother, so many more people."
"I had to finally be like, me going back is more of a bigger picture and it's more 'All these kids, all these people that need inspiration and need a way to get out and I believe I'm that way out.' "So I had to be like, as much as my mom means everything to me, my wife, my kids...my momma was like, 'You go back, I'm not going back with you.' She's like, 'I'm staying in Miami' or 'Send me somewhere else.' I said like, 'Let's not worry about the small, let's worry about us trying to build something that's bigger than our name.''"
At one point, Oakley said that there were NBA All-Stars who didn't know how to play basketball. James and Green also talked about how the Cavaliers came back from a 3-1 deficit to win the 2016 NBA Finals against the Warriors. James averaged 29.7 points, 11.3 rebounds and 8.9 assists in that series. He netted 27 points in the June 19 finale, while Green had a game-high 32 points. Green averaged 16.5 points, 10.3 rebounds and 6.3 assists in the series.
James is averaging 31.8 points, 11.8 rebounds and 10.5 assists this year in the NBA Finals, while Green is posting 11.3 points, 9.8 rebounds and 4.5 assists per bout. Game 5 of the NBA Finals tips off at 9 p.m. Monday at Oracle Arena in Oakland.