LeBron James sparked controversy earlier this week with comments that he would be open to a return to the Cleveland Cavaliers, where he played the first seven seasons of his career. However, on Friday, he clarified these comments, as reported by the Associated Press (via The New York Times):
"I love the fans of Miami. I'm here," he said following Friday's shootaround as the Heat prepared to play the Cavs. "The question was asked of me, could I see myself playing back here. I said yeah, in the sense of I don't know what my future holds and I don't want to take that out. I love the fans of Miami.
"I've got everything thing invested with this team. I'm looking forward to the years to come."
These latest comments are intended to diffuse the firestorm caused by some earlier comments that hinted at a return to the Cavs for James in the future. He signed a six-year deal with the Heat worth $110MM in July 2010 and can opt out after the fourth year, giving him the ability to become an unrestricted free agent after the 2013/14 season.