The news has finally been settled by the man himself — LeBron Raymone James is going back to the Cleveland Cavaliers.
The two-time NBA champion announced his decision with an article published through Sports Illustrated’s Lee Jenkins at midday, and via Twitter and Instagram just after 12:30pm eastern time with a simple message: “I’m coming home.”
The move immediately paints the Cavaliers favorites to come out of the Eastern Conference, a team now flush with a young big three of James, Kyrie Irving and Andrew Wiggins (Kevin Love?), and instantly primes James to fully recast his branding with the goodwill that only a prodigal son story of this magnitude can provide.
What does this mean for his endorsements, particularly the juggernaut known as Nike? While the LeBron 12 signature shoe is pretty well hashed out at this point, the return to Cleveland opens up very near future avenues of inspiration for James and Nike Basketball to work with, and a freshened team color palette to work from.
And since LeBron reportedly gets to sign off on any Nike LeBron retro sneaker releases, now might be just the right time to tap into that catalog of modern classics. You can virtually hear the Nike Air Zoom Generation and Zoom LeBron II vaporizing at retail already.
As of today there’s been a huge paradigm shift in the NBA and possibly for Nike.
It’s OK, be as excited as Northeast Ohio is right now.