He announced his intentions of heading down to lavish South Beach, with his friends, to chase the ultimate NBA hardware.
He crushed the fan base in front of millions on ESPN.
The nightmare has now become a pleasant dream; The King is back on his Cleveland throne.
The wounds are slowly healing. The ones who loved him dearly are now patching the ashes left of his old Cleveland Cavaliers battle armor, while the ones down south are dousing theirs in gasoline; erasing away those once cherished memories.
Two months ago, the mere thought of James leaving the Miami Heat, no less going back to Cleveland, was deemed as a fantasy contrived by fans based on hope.
Then, the perfect storm hit.
His squad was embarrassed in the finals. The ones that helped him over the last four years faded into mediocrity.
It was just James against the San Antonio Spurs, just like with Cleveland seven years ago.
When the opportunity arose for him to go home, the only thing stopping that homecoming was Cavs owner Dan Gilbert, whose comic-sans tirade on James, following his departure, created some bad blood.
The fences were (not so quickly) mended, and James is back.
James’ homecoming was the perfect counter to the PR catastrophe that was “The Decision.”
Most importantly, he’s not alone this time around.
Gone are the days of Zydrunas Ilgauskas and Larry Hughes, and in are the days of fellow No. 1 overall picks, two-time All-Star Kyrie Irving, the disappointing, yet promising Anthony Bennett and the most highly-touted prospect since James ( ... and Greg Oden) in Andrew Wiggins.
Meanwhile, his former comrades, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, have resurfaced and are looking to be paid quite handsomely for staying in Miami.
But James’ return isn’t the end of this tale. Following a four-year hiccup, it’s the continuation of his dream; a dream shared by a city that hasn’t experienced a championship in many, many years.
He’s still the best player in the world, but he has a different role now.
He’s the elder statesman, looking to bestow knowledge to a team with an average age of 24. A team that doesn’t quite know how to win yet.
James knows this will take time. He’s experienced it himself; he’s said it himself. With such a young core, it all won’t come together over night.
But at this moment, in a depleted Eastern Conference, James’ return has pushed the Cavs to become the favorites to win the East.
He’s not the chosen one anymore, or even the villain. He’s just a kid, back home, looking to settle some unfinished business and continue a Cleveland dream 50 years overdue.