And he did. U mad?
And he did. U mad?
And he did. U mad? (NBA/Getty Images)

LeBron James came home today.  Well, if you listened to Chris Sheridan, aka basketball Nostradamus, he was coming home all along.  James revealed his decision in an open – in more ways than one – letter to Sports Illustrated.  We can talk about how that was beautifully scripted letter by somebody in the James camp, but if you’ve followed James throughout his career, you can see that the message is 100% him.  Here was a kid who lived his whole in life Ohio and enjoyed the comforts of home.  But he also wanted to get away for a little bit just to see what it was like in the “real world”.  He got that taste and while he found out that he enjoyed that life, he always longed for home.  If you take out the bajillion dollar industry that is the LeBron James brand, anybody who has ever left home to go to college or begin a career in a strange place or start a new family away from your first family can probably relate to that.

Game Informer
Game Informer

So now that LeBron is back to where it all started, what can we expect now?  What will be the ripple effect of his homecoming and how it relates to the city of Cleveland, his new teammates Kyrie Irving and Andrew Wiggins (assuming Wiggins isnt’ traded for Kevin Love soon) and most importantly, what does this mean to the sneaker community?

Worthless?
Worthless or nah?

Never before has a player of LeBron’s stature moved back and forth like this and it will be interesting to see what this means for his sneaker line.  For those that have followed the sales of James’ kicks since the Nike Zoom Generation, you probably already know that things didn’t really start to pick up until the Nike LeBron 8, which is when he took his talents to South Beach.  Now that LeBron has left Miami (side note: that whole Nike dropping a “South Beach” LeBron 11 to close the loop is all the more relevant now, eh?), does this mean that people will no longer care as much for his kicks during that time period?  Will we see a dramatic price drop in the resale market for kicks like the “South Beach” 8 or the “Miami Vice” 9 Elite or do sneakers exist in their own world where it doesn’t matter where LeBron plays as long as the sneaker is hot?  That could be a great thing for those of us sneakerheads who just care about adding to our collection and less about how much they’re worth but hey, time will tell…

In need of a retro?
In need of a retro?

How about the kicks James wore prior to moving to Miami? Will they gain a second life of popularity now that they have LeBron playing in those same colors again? Will people clamor for retros of the Nike Zoom Generation and the Nike Zoom LeBron 4 now more than ever especially in this day and age when young sneakerheads and hypebeasts are just now going to figure out some of the great releases LeBron had prior to moving to Miami?  So many things are in play that it will be hard to determine just what direction LeBron – the player, the brand and the signature line – will go to next.

Amidst all of the news – or lack thereof and the media and fans just made to amuse themselves – of the past few weeks was a tidbit that LeBron met up with Nike and possibly informed them of his decision.  Now that they are sure James is now in Cleveland, what does this mean to any of the Miami-themed colorways that Nike had planned for the Nike LeBron 12?  Have we seen the last “Miami Nights” or “South Beach” sneakers or will Nike still drop them because who cares really, it’s just a sneaker in a different color?  Is there a bigger narrative in play here and how LeBron wants his shoe line to be seen?

Will we see this on the court a bunch this coming season? (Sole Collector)
Will we see this on the court a bunch this coming season? (Sole Collector)

So while one part of the LeBron picture is clear now, there are still so many more questions that are unanswered, not the least of which is whether or not what James’ real signature shoe will be, the Nike LeBron 12 or the Nike Zoom Soldier 8?  Good times all around.   Have a happy summer everybody.  Not like sneakerheads are itching to find out where ‘Melo goes next or anything like that.  Kidding…