Aug. 17 (Bloomberg) -- LeBron James says he wasn’t a fan of Cleveland or its citizens and that his old boss, Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert, “never cared about LeBron.”
In the cover story of GQ’s September issue, James said he wouldn’t change anything about his decision to leave the Cavaliers for the Miami Heat in the National Basketball Association’s biggest off-season free-agent move.
James, the NBA’s reigning two-time Most Valuable Player, signed a six-year, $110 million contract that took him to the Heat after announcing on ESPN that he would go to Miami. James, an Akron, Ohio, native who spent his first seven seasons with the Cavs, said he never was a fan of Cleveland or its citizens while growing up nearby.
“Clevelanders, because they were the bigger-city kids when we were growing up, looked down on us,” he said in the story. “We didn’t actually like Cleveland. We hated Cleveland growing up. There’s a lot of people in Cleveland we still hate to this day.”
James said he doesn’t think highly of Gilbert, who called James’s decision to go to the Heat a “cowardly betrayal.”
“I don’t think he ever cared about LeBron,” James said. “Me and my family have seen the character of that man.”
Gilbert didn’t immediately return a voice mail seeking comment.
James said he wouldn’t rule out the chance of returning to the Cavaliers.
“If there was an opportunity for me to return and those fans welcome me back, that’d be a great story,” he said.
James will make his debut for Miami on Oct. 26 in Boston versus the Celtics, alongside teammates Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, who also signed six-year deals this offseason.
To contact the reporter on this story: Barry Rothbard in New York at firstname.lastname@example.org
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Sillup in New York at email@example.com.