It's been a while since LeBron James was an outcast in Cleveland, and he doesn't intend to go back to those days.
James, who can opt out of the final year of his contract and become a free agent this summer, said Wednesday that he wants to stay with the Cavaliers.
"I love it here in Cleveland. I have no intentions of leaving," James told ESPN's Dave McMenamin during the Cavaliers' championship parade. "There are some technicalities to take care of I'll leave up to my agent. That's right from the horse's mouth."
James, who turns 32 at the end of December, completed the second season of his return to Cleveland by leading the Cavaliers to an NBA title. He was voted unanimous MVP of the Finals after averaging 29.7 points, 11.3 rebounds and 8.9 assists with an effective field goal percentage of 53.3. He became the third player to record a triple-double in Game 7 of the Finals, joining Jerry West in 1969 and James Worthy in '88.
James will almost certainly turn down the $24 million option to try to get a long-term, more lucrative deal in Cleveland.
He became a free agent after the 2009-10 season and took "his talents to South Beach" and the Miami Heat. Some Cavaliers fans burned his jersey in the streets and owner Dan Gilbert called James' move a "cowardly betrayal."
But the Akron native returned last season and led the Cavaliers to the NBA Finals, losing to the Warriors. Cleveland returned this season and beat the Warriors, bringing the city its first title since the Browns won the NFL Championship in 1964.