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LeBron James edited ‘Coming Home’ essay in front of Dwyane Wade?

A new book suggests LeBron James worked on his  “Coming Home” essay in front of longtime friend and then-teammate Dwyane Wade during a flight on a private plane.

Brian Windhorst and Dave McMenamin, who are about as plugged in on all things LeBron currently in the media, will soon release “Return of the King,” a book chronicling James’ celebrated return to the Cleveland Cavaliers. In it, the authors suggest James reviewed and edited a draft of the essay,  in which the superstar publicly announced his return home after a brilliant run with the Miami Heat.

The essay, featuring the byline “By LeBron James (As Told To By Lee Jenkins),” was published as an exclusive by Sports Illustrated in July 2014. While James’ agent, Rich Paul, knew his client’s ultimate decision, few others — including Wade, the Cavaliers and the Heat — were none the wiser.

Here’s the relevant passage from the book that lays out the scene (via Pro Basketball Talk):

“After watching the afternoon sessions of his camp, James went to McCarran International Airport and boarded a Nike-owned jet. Its destination was Miami, and Wade joined him on the flight, which had been previously arranged as he got a ride back home. Two days later, on Saturday, he was scheduled to go to Rio de Janeiro for the conclusion of the World Cup as part of a Nike promotion. On the plane were Nike personnel, some of James’s staff, and Wade. As the plane traveled east and night fell, James reviewed and made some changes to Jenkins’s first draft. But Wade was still not told.

“You can’t ask Dwyane to carry that [secret],” Paul said. “He couldn’t. It would’ve put him in a terrible position.”

James’ decision to keep Wade out of the loop — at least at the point of the aforementioned flight — obviously was likely more about sparing his friend the pressure of keeping the secret than anything else. Odds are near-certain Wade knew James was returning to the Cavaliers long before many others, and the fact the two remain incredibly close to this day only lends credence to that assertion.