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LeBron James calls decision to leave Cleveland “bittersweet”

In his first interview since heading west with ESPN’s Rachel Nichols, James reflected on leaving his hometown team for the second time.

I Promise School Grand Opening Celebration With LeBron James Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images

LeBron James called his decision to leave his hometown for the second time in his career a “bittersweet” one on Monday.

The former Cavaliers star participated in his first sit-down interview post his free agency decision with ESPN’s Rachel Nichols. On Monday, James was at opening of his foundation’s I Promise School in Akron.

Naturally, his free agency decision was still a topic of discussion. James stressed that it was tough for him to leave Cleveland again, likening it to when he left the Miami Heat back in 2014.

“It’s kind of a bittersweet moment right now,” James told Nichols. “Sitting here in my school that I’m opening, around these kids, around this community. And then at the same time, making the switch to the other coast, being a part of the Lakers now.”

The answer was, without a doubt, a diplomatic one that was centered on the school itself. But throughout the interview overall, James sounds like he is thoroughly at peace with his decision to move on from the Cavs and into this next stage of his career as a member of the Lakers.

“It’s always a tough decision when you leave home or you leave an organization that you’ve been with for multiple years. It was tough to leave the first time. When I left Miami, leaving Cleveland once again, definitely tough. But you know, it’s a decision that was best for me and my family. I think both sides feel great and appreciative of the moments and the time that we have spent together.”