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LeBron James decides to return to the Cleveland Cavaliers

King James no longer will reign in Miami. Days of South Florida unease at the start of the NBA’s free-agency period turned into stunned rejection, with LeBron James announcing Friday that he was leaving the Miami Heat for a return to the Cleveland Cavaliers. James’ decision came a day after a Wednesday meeting with Heat…

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King James no longer will reign in Miami.

Days of South Florida unease at the start of the NBA’s free-agency period turned into stunned rejection, with LeBron James announcing Friday that he was leaving the Miami Heat for a return to the Cleveland Cavaliers.

James’ decision came a day after a Wednesday meeting with Heat President Pat Riley in Las Vegas, where James is running a basketball camp.

James’ choice ultimately came down to sustaining excellence in his adopted home in South Florida or returning closer to his childhood roots. A year-round lifestyle at his massive estate just outside of Akron ultimately prevailed.

The Cavaliers created the salary-cap space for the maximum contract James has sought, with a three-team trade completed Thursday that sent veteran guard Jarrett Jack to the Brooklyn Nets and also included a package with the Boston Celtics.

James last month opted out of the final two years of the six-year free-agent contract he signed with the Heat in July 2010, when he joined Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh in a championship-like celebration.

James’ commitment to the Cavaliers is in now place, able to sign his new contract at any time, after Thursday’s end of the NBA’s offseason personnel moratorium.

With James’ departure, there is a chance Bosh could pursue a maximum-scale contract with the Houston Rockets, perhaps leaving only Wade likely to re-sign from what had been the Heat’s Big Three these past four seasons.

A rebuilding program is expected to ensue with the Heat, similar to what followed in the wake of the breakup with Shaquille O’Neal following the team’s 2006 NBA championship and subsequent slide in the standings.

The Heat advanced to the NBA Finals in each of James’ four seasons in South Florida after he left the Cavaliers, with James winning his first NBA championships in 2012 and ’13. The Heat last month fell 4-1 to the San Antonio Spurs in the 2014 NBA Finals, with James then pushing Riley to upgrade the team’s roster.

Riley attempted to accommodate James with Monday’s free-agency additions of Charlotte Hornets forward Josh McRoberts and Los Angeles Clippers swingman Danny Granger. Instead, the Heat now are left with two additional supporting players without the game’s ultimate superstar to support.

The low-key nature of James’ Thursday decision was in muted contrast to 2010, when he held a nationally televised special on ESPN — “The Decision” — to announce his move to the Heat. The difference this time was the length of time from the July 1 start of the free-agency period it took for resolution.

James was named NBA Most Valuable Player in 2012 and ’13, finishing as runner-up this past season to Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant.

There had been concern for months of James returning to the Cavaliers to be closer to his Bath Township home in Ohio, with Cleveland selecting Kansas forward Andrew Wiggins recently with the No. 1 overall pick in the NBA Draft and on Thursday locking All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving into a long-term contract.

While several teams pitched the option of a fresh start with a new supporting cast, James ultimately bypassed overtures from the Los Angeles Lakers, Phoenix Suns, Dallas Mavericks and Houston Rockets. And the Heat — the only team James met face-to-face with during his decision-making process.

Amid a swirl of rumors and conjecture about his future these past few weeks, James largely took himself out of the free-agency process, allowing his agent, Cleveland-based Rich Paul, to gauge outside interest while James was on vacation with his family. James then scheduled Wednesday’s summit with Riley.

James stressed after the NBA Finals that his priority was positioning himself on a team with championship potential, while also explaining how much his family enjoys their time in South Florida, with James’ wife, Savannah, operating a Miami juice bar and James involved in several South Florida ventures, including a pizza chain.

Prior to opting out of his Heat contract in late June, James was blunt about his future.

“For me,” he said, “I just want to win. And that’s all that matters to me.”

In the wake of the Heat’s demise in the NBA Finals, Riley urged his star players to return and attempt to become just the second team to advance to at least five consecutive NBA Finals. Ultimately, those words failed to resonate with his leading man.

“This stuff is hard,” Riley said in an emotional media session just days after the Finals. “You’ve got to stay together if you’ve got the guts. You don’t find the first door and run out of it. This is four years into this era — four Finals.

“That cements a forever bond, is going through what we went through this year and staying the course.”

Riley’s emphasis was there was too much already in place to simply walk away.

“We have great coaching, great leadership,” he said. “I didn’t come down here 19 years ago for a quick trip to South Beach to get a suntan, and I don’t think they did, either. All those guys who have come here got exactly what they wanted, the best competition on the biggest stage. We won two of the last three.”

Even in June, Riley was taking the long view with his star forward.

“The four years we had with LeBron we hope turns into another 8 or 10,” he said.

Ultimately, it proved to be a four-year run along Biscayne Bay.

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DEMI LOVATO TO SING NATIONAL ANTHEM AT SUPER BOWL LIV

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Multi-platinum singer, songwriter, DEMI LOVATO will sing the National Anthem as part of Super Bowl LIV pregame festivities at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami on Sunday, February 2, the NFL and FOX announced today. 

The pregame show, including the National Anthem, will be broadcast live worldwide.

Lovato is a Grammy-nominated singer, songwriter, actress, advocate, philanthropist, and business woman. Within hours of the release of Lovato’s fifth studio album, CONFIDENT, the first single, “Cool for the Summer” trended worldwide and hit #1 on iTunes in 37 countries.

Lovato will join a prestigious line up of Super Bowl National Anthem performers, including: Gladys Knight, Lady Gaga, Beyoncé, Luke Bryan, Whitney Houston, Diana Ross, Jennifer Hudson, Billy Joel, P!NK, Jordin Sparks, Idina Menzel, Mariah Carey, Alicia Keys, and Neil Diamond.

In addition, on behalf of the National Association of the Deaf (NAD), CHRISTINE SUN KIM, internationally renowned sound artist and performer, will sign the National Anthem in American Sign Language.

The NFL previously announced that Jennifer Lopez and Shakira will headline the Pepsi Super Bowl LIV Halftime Show.

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Tyler Perry Will Make His Netflix Debut With ‘A Fall From Grace’

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Now that Tyler Perry has ended the Madea franchise, and has his very own state-of-the-art production facility in Atlanta, GA, Perry is trying his hand at another thriller movie with his upcoming Netflix film, A Fall From Grace,

Crystal Fox, Phylicia Rashad, Bresha Webb, Mehcad Brooks, Cicely Tyson (Academy Award® Nominee) and Perry round out the cast. Perry also writes and directs A Fall from Grace, and it was the first to be completely filmed at his Atlanta studio.

The film follows a newly divorced woman named Grace Waters (Fox) who falls in love with a young man named Shannon (Brooks). But when secrets erode her short-lived joy, Grace’s vulnerable side turns violent

After being arrested for killing her new husband and awaiting for her upcoming trial, her lawyer (Webb) digs deep to find out the truth behind her husband’s alleged death and find a way to try to prove her innocence. “When you wake up, you don’t know that today will be the day to change your life,” says a disheveled and hand-cuffed Grace in the new montage of scenes.

A Fall from Grace arrives on Netflix on January 17th; add it to your watch-list here and check out the official trailer above.

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Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, returns to Canada after bombshell announcement

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The Duchess of Sussex has returned to Canada after she and Prince Harry announced they were “stepping back” as senior members of Britain’s royal family.

Prince Harry remains in the UK and Meghan is expected to come back to London on Tuesday, when the couple are set to attend an event with Janice Charette, High Commissioner of Canada to the UK, at Canada House.

Meghan and Harry wanted to meet with Charette “as well as staff to thank them for the warm Canadian hospitality and support they received during their recent stay in Canada,” according to a statement from Buckingham Palace.

The couple recently returned from Canada, where they spent the Christmas holidays with the duchess’ mother, Doria Ragland.

“The Duke and Duchess have a strong connection to Canada. It’s a country The Duke of Sussex has visited many times over the years and it was also home to The Duchess for seven years before she became a member of The Royal Family,” the royals said on their Instagram page, Sussex Royal, on Wednesday.

The latest developments follow the shock announcement that the pair plan to “transition into a new working model” and become “financially independent” after stepping back from their roles as senior members of the British royal family.

There was said to be a mood of deep disappointment in the palace following the announcement, and senior members of the family are hurt as a result of the news.

Meghan and Harry’s desire to become “financially independent” has also sparked questions as to how they will be able to do this.

The pair published detailed documents outlining the structure and funding of their household, which revealed they receive 5% of their income from the Sovereign Grant — a lump sum of UK taxpayers’ money given to the Queen every year — and 95% from the Duchy of Cornwall, the private estate controlled by Prince Charles, Harry’s father.

Media reports have suggested that Meghan was independently worth around $5 million before she married Harry, who inherited millions from his mother Princess Diana.

However UK newspaper The Times reports that Charles may withdraw funding from the couple if they completely withdraw from their royal duties.

Observers say the couple are unlikely to struggle for money and could generate income from a UK trademark for their brand ‘Sussex Royal,” which the couple applied for in June, as well as sponsorship or speaking tours.

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