Lebron Shocks Pundits – Returns to Cleveland

first_imgCLEVELAND (AP) — If LeBron James was going to win another NBA title, heal broken hearts and continue building his legacy, he knew there was only one place to go.To Ohio. Home.Four years after he left for Miami, a widely criticized departure that damaged his image and crushed a long-suffering city’s championship hopes, James is coming back to play for the Cavaliers to try and end Cleveland’s half-century title drought. He’s returning to his basketball roots, to the people who know him best, to make good on a promise.James made the announcement Friday with a powerful essay written for Sports Illustrated. His decision ended two weeks of speculation with the entire league waiting on his move.When he finally made it, Cleveland was his choice over re-signing with the Heat.“I looked at other teams, but I wasn’t going to leave Miami for anywhere except Cleveland,” he said to SI. “The more time passed, the more it felt right. This is what makes me happy.”James had not yet signed a contract, but he made it clear he will wear a Cavaliers jersey next season.“When I left Cleveland, I was on a mission,” James said in the SI first-person story. “I was seeking championships, and we won two. But Miami already knew that feeling. Our city hasn’t had that feeling in a long, long, long time. My goal is still to win as many titles as possible, no question. But what’s most important for me is bringing one trophy back to Northeast Ohio.”The talented kid from Akron, now a homecoming king.Cleveland is thrilled to have him back. James is the league’s best all-around player, a four-time MVP who was dubbed “The Chosen One” as a can’t-miss high school star who learned the game on the playgrounds of Akron, about 40 miles from Cleveland. At 6-foot-8, 260 pounds, he can score from all over and is one of the game’s best passers and defenders.Staying in Miami would have been easy. He could have made another run at a third title and fifth straight NBA Finals appearance with close friends Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, the other members of a “Big 3” who have been the league’s team-to-hate since 2010.Instead, James picked the young, unproven Cavs, with a rookie coach in David Blatt, who spent the past two decades coaching overseas. Almost unbelievably, he’ll again work for owner Dan Gilbert, who torched James on his way out the door in 2010.For Cleveland, a city accustomed to so much sports heartache — as the Cavaliers, Browns and Indians have come close but failed to win it all — news of James’ return triggered a spontaneous downtown celebration during Friday’s lunch hours.Car horns blared and strangers high-fived on the sidewalks outside Quicken Loans Arena, where James had so many big moments during his first seven seasons as a pro.Four years ago, some fans burned his jersey. On July 11, 2014, all was forgiven.The Cavs were considered a long shot when free agency opened. But as the days went by, Cleveland emerged as the leader, especially after clearing salary-cap spaces to offer him a maximum contract. While he was in Las Vegas earlier this week, James met with Heat president Pat Riley, the architect of Miami’s back-to-back championship teams.Riley made a final pitch, but he had nothing to match the overwhelming lure of home.“Before anyone ever cared where I would play basketball, I was a kid from Northeast Ohio,” James told SI.“People there have seen me grow up. I sometimes feel like I’m their son. Their passion can be overwhelming. But it drives me.”James’ exit ends an era in Miami, but it’s not the end for the Heat. Bosh agreed Friday to a five-year contract worth about $118 million, two people familiar with the situation told The Associated Press. The people spoke on condition of anonymity because neither the team nor Bosh had publicly announced the deal.The Heat are negotiating with Wade, who learned of James’ departure on a flight to Miami late Thursday.He may be gone, but part of James will forever be in Miami.“I went to Miami because of D-Wade and CB,” James told SI. “I believed we could do something magical if we came together. And that’s exactly what we did! The hardest thing to leave is what I built with those guys.”James was scorned for turning his back on Cleveland in 2010, announcing his decision on a poorly conceived TV special. His critics said he wasn’t good enough to win a championship by himself, and that he needed to surround himself with All-Stars.James may never surpass Michael Jordan’s six titles, but his legacy could be bringing one to Cleveland, devoid of a championship in any sport since 1964.“I’m not promising a championship,” he said. “I know how hard that is to deliver. We’re not ready right now. No way. Of course, I want to win next year, but I’m realistic.”He’s starting fresh with Gilbert, who famously wrote a blistering letter condemning James and calling him disloyal, narcissistic and cowardly.At some point, the two worked out their differences.“I’ve met with Dan, face-to-face, man-to-man,” James said. “We’ve talked it out.”Gilbert, too, has moved on.“I am excited for the fans and people of Cleveland and Ohio. No fans and people deserve a winner more than them,” Gilbert said on Twitter.Like a kid who spent four years away at college, James is coming back home.James comes back a different man, more mature for his encore. He grew up in Miami. He’s a proven champion, married with two sons and his wife, Savannah, has a daughter on the way. He wanted to raise them in his hometown.James has “loyalty” tattooed on his body. Akron is everything to him, “there’s no better place to grow up.” Scarred by economic woes, the area needs his help, and James intends to make it a better place.“I feel my calling here goes above basketball,” he said. “I have a responsibility to lead, in more ways than one, and I take that very seriously. My presence can make a difference in Miami, but I think it can mean more where I’m from. In Northeast Ohio, nothing is given. Everything is earned. You work for what you have. I’m ready to accept the challenge.“I’m coming home.”TweetPinShare0 Shareslast_img read more

I want to use my voice to help others Manitoba politician reveals

first_imgWINNIPEG – After decades of silence and frequent self-blame, Manitoba’s minister for the status of women has come forward about being a survivor of sexual assault so she can help others realize there is a way to heal.Rochelle Squires, 47, told The Canadian Press she was raped when she was 13 and felt she couldn’t tell anyone.“In the 34 years since then, every day of my life has been a journey — sometimes a journey towards recovery; sometimes a journey back into darkness,” Squires said after making a statement in the legislature to mark Sexual Assault Awareness Month Tuesday.“I have gone back in my mind … hundreds of thousands of times and talked to that 13-year-old girl and said to her: ‘It’s not your fault and you’re going to be OK,’” she said, her voice quavering.“And now that work is done. I don’t need to tell that 13-year-old girl anymore, and so I want to use my voice to help others.”Squires said she never went to police and stayed silent until she was well into her 30s and discussed it with a therapist.“I felt overwhelmingly at fault, even at that age,” she said. “It’s a question I still have unanswered in my own mind. Why did I feel to blame?”Squires did not identify the perpetrator, but said it was someone she had to continue to deal with on occasion.After her teenage years, she had several careers, including journalism, before becoming a politician. She was elected as a Progressive Conservative in 2016 and now, with a seat at the provincial cabinet table, she feels she can make a difference for victims of sexual assault.She favours third-party reporting that allows complainants to tell their stories to a community victim-services group, which deals with police without revealing identities.British Columbia already offers that option and the Manitoba government has been looking at following suit.“I believe that will make a strong difference in so many lives if we have a place for people to go and share their testimony … and yet not have to immediately go to a police station and fill out (a) report.”Squires also said societal attitudes have to change.“As victims, we know intrinsically that something bad happened to us and it’s not our fault. But then we look for cues in society — whether it be friends, social circles, judges, historic cases, the media — and … the message we hear over and over and over again is: ‘It kind of is your fault.’“And then we internalize that trauma. And we bury it.”last_img read more

Former BC premier Gordon Campbell accused of sexual assault British newspaper

first_imgLONDON — A British newspaper says police in London are investigating an allegation of sexual assault made against former British Columbia premier Gordon Campbell.The Daily Telegraph says Scotland Yard is investigating a complaint from a woman who was an employee at the Canadian High Commission when Campbell was high commissioner.The newspaper says in a story published online on Friday that the complainant alleges she was groped in 2013 and filed a complaint with police in January.The woman is named by the newspaper, but The Canadian Press does not identify alleged victims of sexual assault without their active consent.The Metropolitan Police in London could not be reached for comment on Friday.Campbell also could not be reached for comment but the Daily Telegraph says a spokesman for him says the alleged incident was investigated and dismissed.“This complaint was transparently disclosed and became the subject of a full due diligence investigation at the time by the government of Canada and was found to be without merit,” the newspaper quotes the unnamed spokesman as saying.The newspaper says Scotland Yard issued a statement confirming it is investigating an allegation of sexual assault that occurred in 2013 after it was contacted by a 54-year-old woman on Jan. 3. The statement says the woman alleges she was sexually assaulted at an address in Grosvenor Square and that no arrests have been made as it continues its investigation.The Canadian Press was not able to contact the woman quoted by the Daily Telegraph.The Daily Telegraph says the woman alleges a “hand went up my backside” as she climbed the main staircase at Canada House on her way to a meeting.Global Affairs Canada could not be reached for comment.Campbell was premier of British Columbia from 2001 until 2011. He was appointed high commissioner in 2011 and left the diplomatic post in 2016.The Canadian Presslast_img read more