LeBron: I’m coming back to Cleveland

Before anyone ever cared where I would play basketball, I was a kid from Northeast Ohio. It’s where I walked. It’s where I ran. It’s where I cried. It’s where I bled. It holds a special place in my heart. People there have seen me grow up. I sometimes feel like I’m their son. Their passion can be overwhelming. But it drives me. I want to give them hope when I can. I want to inspire them when I can. My relationship with Northeast Ohio is bigger than basketball. I didn’t realize that four years ago. I do now.

Remember when I was sitting up there at the Boys & Girls Club in 2010? I was thinking, This is really tough. I could feel it. I was leaving something I had spent a long time creating. If I had to do it all over again, I’d obviously do things differently, but I’d still have left. Miami, for me, has been almost like college for other kids. These past four years helped raise me into who I am. I became a better player and a better man. I learned from a franchise that had been where I wanted to go. I will always think of Miami as my second home. Without the experiences I had there, I wouldn’t be able to do what I’m doing today.

I went to Miami because of D-Wade and CB. We made sacrifices to keep UD. I loved becoming a big bro to Rio. 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. I’ve talked to some of them and will talk to others. Nothing will ever change what we accomplished. We are brothers for life.  I also want to thank Micky Arison and Pat Riley for giving me an amazing four years.

I’m doing this essay because I want an opportunity to explain myself uninterrupted. I don’t want anyone thinking: He and Erik Spoelstra didn’t get along. … He and Riles didn’t get along. … The Heat couldn’t put the right team together. That’s absolutely not true.

I’m not having a press conference or a party. After this, it’s time to get to work.

When I left Cleveland, I was on a mission. 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.

I always believed that I’d return to Cleveland and finish my career there. I just didn’t know when. After the season, free agency wasn’t even a thought. But I have two boys and my wife, Savannah, is pregnant with a girl. I started thinking about what it would be like to raise my family in my hometown. I looked at other teams, but I wasn’t going to leave Miami for anywhere except Cleveland. The more time passed, the more it felt right. This is what makes me happy.

To make the move I needed the support of my wife and my mom, who can be very tough. The letter from Dan Gilbert, the booing of the Cleveland fans, the jerseys being burned — seeing all that was hard for them. My emotions were more mixed. It was easy to say, “OK, I don’t want to deal with these people ever again.” But then you think about the other side. What if I were a kid who looked up to an athlete, and that athlete made me want to do better in my own life, and then he left? How would I react? I’ve met with Dan, face-to-face, man-to-man. We’ve talked it out. Everybody makes mistakes. I’ve made mistakes as well. Who am I to hold a grudge?

I’m not promising a championship. 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. It will be a long process, much longer than it was in 2010. My patience will get tested. I know that. I’m going into a situation with a young team and a new coach. I will be the old head. But I get a thrill out of bringing a group together and helping them reach a place they didn’t know they could go. I see myself as a mentor now and I’m excited to lead some of these talented young guys. I think I can help Kyrie Irving become one of the best point guards in our league. I think I can help elevate Tristan Thompson and Dion Waiters. And I can’t wait to reunite with Anderson Varejao, one of my favorite teammates.

But this is not about the roster or the organization. I feel my calling here goes above basketball. 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. I want kids in Northeast Ohio, like the hundreds of Akron third-graders I sponsor through my foundation, to realize that there’s no better place to grow up. Maybe some of them will come home after college and start a family or open a business. That would make me smile. Our community, which has struggled so much, needs all the talent it can get.

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.

TSA’s Ban on Uncharged Cellphones

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 WIRED

The Transportation Security Administration has found yet another way to make traveling terrible: Passengers boarding U.S.-bound flights at some foreign airports will not be allowed to board with electronic devices that don’t have enough juice to turn on. Forget to charge your gadget and being stuck in line without the joy of checking Twitter is the least of your worries. You’ll have to throw your phone away when it’s finally your turn to run the screening gauntlet.

The new rule—announced with no explanation of why it’s been created—has been widely and swiftly lampooned as one more example of TSA nonsense. It’s impressive that the agency has managed to make the already crummy ordeal of flying even worse. But don’t assume this is more TSA idiocy just yet.

The rule change may be obnoxious, but it’s not stupid, says Rafi Ron, the former director of security at Tel Aviv’s Ben-Gurion International Airport, notorious for its strict screening procedures. The TSA is likely responding to new intelligence that al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) has developed explosives that are difficult to detect with current technology, Ron says. That calls for a change in procedure.

“I think that the measures that are taken make a lot of sense,” Ron says.

It should be noted that Ron is not a TSA apologist. He’s the guy who called the agency’s decision to make us all remove our shoes in response to Richard Reid’s shoe bomb debacle “an extremely unintelligent conclusion.”

Ensuring a phone turns on is a quick, easy and low-tech—if not foolproof—way of checking that its battery hasn’t been replaced with a bomb. The fact that it applies only to passengers flying into the United States from select (and unspecified) airports, shows the TSA is targeting its approach.

That said, it does seem strange that, as an anonymous TSA employee notes to WIRED, the TSA needs to do this at all, given that it already uses an explosive trace detection machine. Plus, there is the risk that turning on a gadget containing a bomb might trigger it.

Whatever the answer, the TSA must implement its new rule logically. That is not something the TSA is known for. Jason E. Harrington, a former TSA officer and a critic of the agency, doesn’t hold out much hope that logic will prevail. “Nearly all of the security workforce, in all likelihood, will be mindlessly waving through passengers with powered-up electronics – because when you work front-line security with an inflexible checklist as your guide, you find it’s easy to let critical thinking take a backseat to basic standard operating procedure compliance,” he wrote in an op-ed for The Guardian.

“Meanwhile, at least one old lady will probably arrive at every airport checkpoint each day having forgotten to charge her beat-up old flip-phone, which an agent will inevitably toss into the checkpoint trash bin.”

The TSA has kept quiet about how it plans to implement the rule—the announcement is all of four sentences long—but we hope it at least considers putting an array of in the airport. That way, passengers who show up with a dead battery don’t have to throw their gadgets away, and this becomes just one more in a long list of inconveniences.

There is another, much more nefarious element to the new rule: Accusations that it has nothing to do with explosives, but is rather a way for the Department of Homeland security to better surveil us through our devices. The theory goes that if the phone’s battery is dead, it can’t be tracked. There’s an easy workaround for those who are worried about that: Once you’re through security, pop out the battery and enjoy your flight.

French Montana (@FrencHMonTanA) Feat Fabolous (@myfabolouslife) & Wale (@Wale) – R&B Chicks

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Funkmaster Flex premiered French Montana brand new single called R&B Chicks featuring Fabolous and Wale produced by Mekanics. French new album Mac & Cheese 4, is due out in November.

Atlanta Hawks sign Thabo Sefolosha

The Atlanta Hawks have signed free agent guard/forward Thabo Sefolosha, it was announced today by President of Basketball Operations/General Manager Danny Ferry. According to multiple reports, it is a three-year deal for a total of $12 million.

“Thabo is an unselfish, competitive and playoff-tested player, and does many things well on both sides of the ball,” Ferry said. “He also fills a need, giving us more size and depth at the wing position. He’s been a part of winning programs and will fit our culture well.”

Sefolosha, 30, played and started in 61 games last season with the Oklahoma City Thunder, averaging 6.3 points, 3.6 rebounds, 1.5 assists and 1.3 steals in 26.0 minutes (.415 FG%, .768 FT%). In his eight-year career, Sefolosha has appeared in 551 games with the Thunder and Bulls (407 starting assignments) and has averaged 5.8 points, 3.7 rebounds, 1.5 assists and 1.1 steals in 23.4 minutes (.442 FG%, .348 3FG%, .746 FT%). He was selected to the NBA’s All-Defensive second team in 2009-10.

He has also played in 78 playoff games, starting 67, averaging 4.6 points, 2.8 rebounds, 1.1 assists and 1.0 steals in 19.9 minutes.

Sefolosha was originally selected by the Philadelphia 76ers with the 13th overall pick of the 2006 NBA Draft, and was traded to Chicago in exchange for the draft right to Rodney Carney, a second-round pick and cash considerations. He spent two-and-a-half seasons with the Bulls before going to the Thunder on February 19, 2009 in exchange for a first-round pick.

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