Tuesday July 22nd, 2014

Maverick Carter, LeBron James' long-time business partner, said James wasn't pressed to return to Cleveland by him, or anyone else, Carter told ESPN.com's Jason Whitlock on Monday.

Complete SI.com coverage of LeBron's return to the Cavaliers

"This was a decision that LeBron made in his heart," Carter said. "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.

"Listen," Carter added, "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 decision to return to Cleveland on July 11 after four straight Finals appearances with the Heat, including two championships. James was with the Cavaliers the first seven years of his career.

Carter believes James would have stayed in Miami had the Heat won the NBA title in June.

"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 also said James and Dwyane Wade will be "friends for life" and that the two spoke before James' decision.

Carter recently signed new Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel to handle some of his business. 

Said Carter about the 21-year-old: "He's not hurting anyone. He's not beating anyone up or doing anything that's criminal. Have fun. People will adjust."

- Chris Mascaro


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