Return of the King

LeBron James, the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Greatest Comeback in NBA History


By Brian Windhorst

By Dave McMenamin

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In this New York Times bestseller, get the inside scoop into LeBron James’s return — and ultimate triumph — in Cleveland.

What really happened when LeBron James stunned the NBA by leaving a potential dynasty in Miami to come home to play with the Cleveland Cavaliers? How did the Cavs use secret meetings to put together the deal to add star Kevin Love? Who really made the controversial decision to fire coach David Blatt when the team was in first place? Where did the greatest comeback in NBA history truly begin-and end?

Return of the King takes you onto the private planes, inside the locker-room conversations, and into the middle of the intense huddles where one of the greatest stories in basketball history took place, resulting in the Cavs winning the 2016 NBA title after trailing the Golden State Warriors three games to one.

You’ll hear from all the characters involved: the players, the executives, the agents, and the owners as they reveal stories never before told. Get the background on all the controversies, the rivalries, and the bad blood from two reporters who were there for every day, plot twist, and social media snafu as they take you through the fascinating ride that culminated in a heart-stopping Game Seven.


  • "On the surface, this story may seem like it would only appeal to Cavaliers fans -- don't be dissuaded. The work illustrates the highs and lows necessary to reach the level of a champion, and will be the basketball book to own in 2017."
    Library Journal Starred Review
  • "[A] dishy and fun narrative...With lively writing and rich anecdotes that reveal the struggles that made the triumph anything but inevitable, Windhorst and McMenamin provide the definitive account of the greatest accomplishment of one of the game's greatest players."
    The Washington Post
  • "I've always admired Brian's acumen and his seasoned perspective. This story with Dave McMenamin of LeBron and the Cleveland Cavaliers' championship run is captivating and filled with spectacular detail."
    Tracy McGrady, 7-time NBA All-Star
  • "Brian Windhorst and Dave McMenamin are courtside and in the locker room for the most improbable comeback in NBA history. Through exhaustive, incisive reporting, the duo have delivered an important, essential book for all NBA fans."
    Jonathan Abrams, New York Times bestselling author of Boys Among Men: How the Prep-to-Pro Generation Redefined the NBA and Sparked a Basketball Revolution
  • "This account of how a championship was built is the best NBA book in many years."
  • "Brian Windhorst and Dave McMenamin don't just cover the NBA. They live it. And in RETURN OF THE KING, their storytelling has never been better. From the decision-making process in the Cavaliers' front office which led to LeBron James' return, to the assembly of a championship roster, to the players-only email from GM David Griffin with the Cavs down 3-1 in the NBA Finals, to the candid exchanges between LeBron and Tyronn Lue, there is nothing left uncovered. Man, what a compelling read!"
    Ernie Johnson, studio host of TNT's "Inside the NBA"
  • "On the court and off, the LeBron James journey back to Cleveland and back to a championship is one of the most intriguing stories in NBA history. Brian and Dave do a masterful job of adding context, details, and behind-the-scenes anecdotes to the signing, the season, and the series. RETURN OF THE KING is a great way to remember all that led up to the Finals and the greatest comeback."
    Mike Tirico, NBC's Thursday Night Football play-by-play and Olympics host

On Sale
Apr 3, 2018
Page Count
296 pages

Brian Windhorst

About the Author

Brian Windhorst has covered the NBA for ESPN since 2010. He began covering LeBron James in 1999 and was the daily beat writer on the Cleveland Cavaliers for the Akron Beacon Journal and Cleveland Plain Dealer from 2003 to 2010. He is also the co-author of three books, including the New York Timesbestseller Return of the King, The Franchise, and The Making of an MVP.

Learn more about this author