Jul 11, 2014 00:08 Cavs fans hoping for mended fences, James’ return to Cleveland Cavs fans hoping for mended fences, James’ return to Cleveland FILE - In this July 8, 2010 file photo, a poster of LeBron James ends up head first in the garbage can after hearing that James decided to play with the Miami Heat at the Harry Buffalo restaurant in Cleveland. As Cavaliers fans breathlessly await a homecoming they never thought possible, the broken relationship between LeBron James and Dan Gilbert could get in the way. When James left Cleveland four years ago as a free agent to chase NBA championship in Miami, Gilbert publicly attacked him, calling the superstars departure cowardly and accusing him of quitting in playoff games. (AP Photo/ The Plain Dealer, John Kuntz, File) MANDATORY CREDIT NO SALES TOM WITHERS| AP sportswriter July 11, 2014 Comments CLEVELAND — There was no eye contact, nothing to indicate any reconciliation. The breakup of LeBron James and Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert was beyond bitter. But now, as James considers a return to the team he abandoned four years ago with an entire region breathlessly awaiting a homecoming it couldn’t imagine in its wildest dreams, it appears there has been some healing between the NBA superstar and his former boss. Once aligned as basketball partners, James and Gilbert could barely stand the sight of each other during Miami’s games in Cleveland the past four years. It was an intense standoff, awkward and seemingly irreparable. Time may have fixed their fractured relationship. Most of the rest of the city has already forgiven James. Cleveland, without a major sports championship to celebrate in almost 50 years, is praying for a reunion. On Sunday, Cavs fans flocked to social media to feverishly track one of Gilbert’s private jets as it flew to Fort Lauderdale, Florida, where the plane’s occupants dodged reporters and TV cameras with some deception. It’s not known whether Gilbert was on the jet — or if the trip was even NBA-related — but that didn’t douse the free-agency firestorm. As James’ decision nears, there’s renewed hope the prodigal son will come home. But in the backdrop looms the James-Gilbert relationship. James is giving serious thought to returning to Cleveland, to going home and making amends with the city for the one misstep in an otherwise impeccable NBA career. Tuesday is the four-year anniversary of announcing he was “taking my talents to South Beach,” and the city is once again on hold. James is set to meet with Heat president Pat Riley, who was able to lure the four-time league MVP to Miami in 2010 but could be running out of time to convince him to stay. Two people familiar with the situation said James will meet with Riley “in the next two or three days.” The people spoke on condition of anonymity because neither the team nor James announced their plans publicly. James holds all the cards. It’s his choice. It was the same four years ago, when he ended his seven-year run in Cleveland by linking with All-Stars Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh. The “Big 3” went on to win two titles and went to four straight NBA Finals, getting crushed by San Antonio this year. The trio could be splitting up. Wade and Bosh have been waiting to see what James will do, and it’s possible he’s going to go it alone. On July 8, 2010, “The Decision” played out in a national TV spectacle and was a blow to the collective psyche of Cleveland. Fans here couldn’t understand why James, Akron born and bred, would intentionally embarrass the people who say they loved him most. In those early hours afterward, some Cleveland fans burned his No. 23 jersey in streets near where his larger-than-life figure towered on a building billboard. It was an ugly scene. Gilbert added fuel to the inferno. Cleveland’s dynamic owner, never afraid to offer his opinion, wrote a letter to Cleveland fans, condemning James for a “shameful display of selfishness and betrayal by one of our very own.” Gilbert called James “our former hero” and the “self-declared former King.” Gilbert also guaranteed the Cavs would win a title before James, a boast he later swallowed when James won his first title in his second year in Miami, while Gilbert’s team went 40-108 in two seasons without him. Over the past few years, there has been some cooling between them. James said he didn’t hold a grudge toward Gilbert, and one day before the Heat rallied from a 27-point deficit in the second half to beat the Cavs in Cleveland, Gilbert offered something of an olive branch on Twitter. “Cleveland Cavaliers young talent makes our future very bright,” Gilbert wrote. “Clearly, LeBron’s is as well. Time for everyone to focus on the road ahead.” The road has brought them to an unlikely crossroads: a possible reunion.