Maverick Carter, LeBron James‘ business parter, told ESPN.com’s Jason Whitlock in a podcast that neither he or anyone else in James’ inner circle told the superstar to return to the Cavaliers.
“This was a decision that LeBron made in his heart,” Carter told Whitlock. “We didn’t push him to do it. We don’t push him to do anything. If he asks our opinion or what did we think about the pros and the cons, we help him think through it. We don’t push him.”
Said Carter: “LeBron’s a 29-year-old man with lots of money, got a wife, two kids, one on the way. He makes his own decisions. He doesn’t need anyone pushing him any way, and a guy like that, you’re not going to push him either way. We’ll help him think through things and help him see through things, but he makes his own decision in his heart. Because, ultimately, he has to live with it. I’m not the one who has to show up and play games for any team.”
James announced his return to the Cavs on July 11 after four seasons with the Heat. He opted out of his contract with Miami shortly after the loss to the Spurs in the NBA Finals. Carter said he wasn’t sure if James would have returned to the Heat if they had won their third straight title.
“Logic says how could he not,” Carter said. “You’ve got to go for four. But who knows. The decision about Cleveland was bigger than basketball. It was in his heart.”
Carter said James informed Dwyane Wade of his decision before the Sports Illustrated piece was released.