LeBron James opened up on the pushback he received from family members when he initially decided to return to the Cavaliers in 2014, describing his thought process on a recent episode of UNINTERRUPTED.
James first recalled Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert's infamous post-Decision letter, in which Gilbert sharply criticized James for walking away from Cleveland. James said the letter disrespected him and his family as a whole.
"It disrespected my name. And my name is not just myself. It's my wife, it's my kids, my grandfather," James said. "My mother. So many more people."
James said that his mom and his wife were both skeptical of his decision to return to Cleveland after four seasons in Miami, especially because the 2010 split was so bitter.
"My mama and my wife was like f--- that, I ain't with that," James said.
James says that he told his mom returning to Cleveland was about the big picture.
"It's more of a bigger picture...all these kids, all these people that need inspiration and a way to get out,” James said. “And I believe that I'm that way out.”
James said his mom told him she would stay in Miami or go somewhere else rather than moving back to Cleveland with her son.
"Let's not worry about the small s---," James said he told his mom. "Let's worry about us trying to build something that's bigger than our name."
The exchange starts around the 22:45 mark of the episode.
James announced his return to Cleveland in a first-person letter published on SI.com. In the letter, he wrote that Gilbert's letter was hard for his family, but that ultimately he and Gilbert talked out their differences. James decided not to let a "mistake" get in the way of his homecoming.
James fulfilled his promise to bring Cleveland a championship last season, helping the Cavaliers overcome a 3–1 deficit to the Warriors in the NBA Finals to win their first league title.