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The New York Times' LeBron-inspired Saturday sports front page is a thing of beauty (Photos)

On Friday, in the wake of LeBron James’ return to the Cleveland Cavaliers, Dan Devine passed along the borderline-stunning Saturday front page of the Cleveland Plain Dealer, complete with an evocative portrait of James surrounding a telling quote from the essay he explained his (lower case) decision with.

Not to be outdone, those flashy sorts at the New York Times put together their own masterpiece, surrounding James’ free agent move. Scope this beauty out:

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(Courtesy Twitter.com/PeterLattman and the New York Times)

(Courtesy Twitter.com/PeterLattman and the New York Times)

Need a closer look?

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(Courtesy Twitter.com/PeterLattman and the New York Times)

(Courtesy Twitter.com/PeterLattman and the New York Times)

(Not to call into question the Old Grey Lady's standards and practices, but we've been reminded that James, technically, has not "signed" with the Cavaliers. He's merely agreed to return to the team, and the terms of his contract have yet to be officially signed upon.)

Running a tiny agate graphic on the opening sports page of the paper of record seems like a risky move for this venerated institution – but it’s also a Saturday, when nobody reads the paper, and it’s the summertime, when big news is few and far between. Glad to see the Times – as passed along by NYT Media Editor Peter Lattman – having some fun.

Between the Plain Dealer’s work, the Times’ bone dry take on things, and Lee Jenkins’ scoop for Sports Illustrated, it’s been a great two days for print media. Even coming from a 16-year online vet, this is always a great thing. Kudos to all.

Also, kudos to the Cards for picking up Kottaras in their moment of need. You may have missed that transaction while looking for news about LeBron.

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Kelly Dwyer is an editor for Ball Don't Lie on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at KDonhoops@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

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