Silver was 'moved' by LeBron's statement


AP Basketball Writer

LeBron James' decision to return to play for the Cleveland Cavaliers, and the eloquent essay in Sports Illustrated that outlined the lure of home, resonated with many who watched the saga unfold last week.

That includes NBA Commissioner Adam Silver.

Silver said on Tuesday that he was "moved" when he read James' essay that outlined the reasons for his return to Cleveland.

"I really was moved by it," Silver said after the NBA's Board of Governors meeting. "I thought it says a lot about who he is, who he's become over the last four years.

"I think his statement about northeast Ohio, about hard work, about this being about something larger than basketball and the NBA, I've gotten to know LeBron pretty well over the years, and so I think from that standpoint, I'm really more like a fan. This seemed to be a great moment for the league."

Silver's position at the top of the NBA food chain did little to help him while the league was essentially put on hold last week while the four-time MVP mulled staying in Miami, where he led the Heat to two championships and four straight appearances in the finals, or returning to Cleveland, where the Akron-born James played the first seven seasons of his career.

Silver said he found out about James' decision much the way most people did — he opened a link to the story on Twitter. He said he doesn't favor one team over the other and has great respect for the Miami Heat and everything they accomplished with James on the team the last four years.

"I understand it's Miami's loss, but I think that's always going to be the issue when you have such a transcendent player like LeBron," Silver said. "What I heard from a lot of owners in the league is, 'I wish my city were his hometown so he could come home to our market.

"But that's just the nature of it."

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