LeBron James hadn't yet announced his return to Cleveland, but former teammate Dwyane Wade knew his friend would be leaving the Heat.
"Yeah, I went to sleep knowing," Wade told reporters on Friday about sensing from James' body language during a flight from Las Vegas that he'd be leaving. "He called me the next day, but I knew then. Obviously he still had to say the final yay or nay, but I knew. I could tell."
Wade, 32, and James, 29, have been friends for years. Both were drafted in 2003 — James No. 1 to Cleveland and Wade No. 5 to Miami — and, in addition to being teammates the last four years, they each won a gold medal with Team USA in the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.
"As his friend, I'm just supportive," Wade said of James, adding that he never pitched LeBron to stay. "As crazy as that might sound, I'm supportive of my friends doing what makes them happy. Obviously, same thing with him in this situation. You've gotta do what makes you happy — selfishly do what makes you happy. The decision to go back home was that.
"The only thing we do as a franchise and as players is we move forward."
Blatt on LeBron bringing championship pressure
On Friday's SI Now, Cleveland Cavaliers head coach David Blatt discusses the high expectations going into this season.
- Chris Mascaro