(CBS) Maverick Carter, LeBron James’ business partner and one of his lead advisors, insisted that James’ decision to return to the Cleveland Cavaliers was in no way influenced by his inner circle, according to an ESPN.com report.

Many believe and some reports indicated James’ family and friends were pushing him back to his home state. While those around James may have wanted that, the NBA’s best player made the decision on his own.

“This was a decision that LeBron made in his heart,” Carter told ESPN.com’s Jason Whitlock on the Real Talk podcast. “We didn’t push him to do it. We don’t push him to do anything. If he asks our opinion or what did we think about the pros and the cons, we help him think through it. We don’t push him.”

In a first-person essay in Sports Illustrated, James wrote that his “relationship with Northeast Ohio is bigger than basketball” and expressed a desire to always want to return home.

“LeBron’s a 29-year-old man with lots of money, got a wife, two kids, one on the way,” Carter said. “He makes his own decisions. He doesn’t need anyone pushing him any way, and a guy like that, you’re not going to push him either way. We’ll help him think through things and help him see through things, but he makes his own decision in his heart. Because, ultimately, he has to live with it. I’m not the one who has to show up and play games for any team.”

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