Cleveland’s greatest sports legend would have no problem with LeBron James returning to the city, but believes he only should under one condition.
Jim Brown, the hall of fame Browns running back, believes James only should re-sign with the Cavaliers if owner Dan Gilbert makes a public apology. Gilbert criticized James in a scathing latter he wrote after James bolted from the Cavaliers to the Miami Heat in 2010.
“The only way I would say that (James should return) is if he and Mr. Gilbert came to some greater understanding because I did not like the way that Mr. Gilbert portrayed him,’’ Brown said in a phone interview Monday with the Pioneer Press. “(For James to return), there’s got to be a public apology made by the owner. I don’t see it any other way.’’
Brown was asked if James should return to the Cavaliers without a public apology.
“Hell no,’’ Brown said.
The free-agent forward is deciding whether to leave the Heat or to join another team, with the Cavaliers being regarded as having a decent shot to get him back. Brown, who starred for Cleveland from 1957-65, said he would like to see James return to the city only if that’s what he truly wants.
“If that’s what makes him happy,’’ Brown said. “I want him to do whatever’s best for him.’’
After James left the Cavaliers in 2010, he was ripped in the letter by Gilbert. The letter included Gilbert calling James, who played for the Cavaliers from 2003-10, a “former hero” and said he engaged in “cowardly betrayal” by leaving.
“What I really disliked about (James) leaving was the manner in which Mr. Gilbert talked about him,’’ Brown said.
We wouldn’t mind seeing a rich white man apologize to a rich black man in public. Not something you see everyday.
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