Not a villain but a champ: LeBron awaits Cleveland reunion

first_imgMOST READ FILE – In this Thursday, Dec. 2, 2010, file photo, a Cleveland Cavaliers fan yells at Miami Heat forward LeBron James (6) during the first quarter of an NBA basketball game in Cleveland. For the first time since leaving as a free agent and signing with the Los Angeles Lakers last summer, James returns Wednesday night, Nov. 21, 2018, to a city still grappling with losing him again. But unlike his previous return, the 32-year-old is coming home to be celebrated for what he did during his second stint with the Cavaliers. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak, File)CLEVELAND — The air was heavy, heaving with hatred.And when LeBron James skipped onto the Quicken Loans Arena floor on Dec. 2, 2010, with his Miami teammates, scorned Cleveland fans aimed their fury at one of their own, the kid from Akron who was shaken by the experience.ADVERTISEMENT But he’s keeping his perspective on this Thanksgiving week homecoming.“I don’t try to put too much into it,” he said Sunday night in Miami after scoring 51 in a win over the Heat. “I will see some familiar faces. I’ll think about some of the good. I’ll think about some of the bad. I’ll think about some of the great times that I had with the franchise, obviously. And then once the tip-ball gets going, it’ll be time to go to work.“It’ll be good to see some of my family that’s going to come to the game, see some of my friends as well, and get the thing going.”On that cold December night in 2010, James wasn’t sure what to expect months after his “taking my talents to South Beach” announcement had incensed Cleveland fans, driving some to burn his jersey.More frightening was the reception James received in his first game back.Security was beefed up to unprecedented levels, but nothing could shield James from the vicious words. There were chants of “Ak-ron hates you” and “Scott-ie Pipp-en” and fans held up signs calling him a traitor, liar, sellout and worse while a national TV audience watched an ugly divorce played out in real time.Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert had fueled the disdain in a letter written to Cleveland fans on the night James announced he was joining Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh in Miami.But while the negativity crashed down upon him, James, as is usually the case, soared. He performed his pregame chalk-toss ritual and then dropped 38 points on the Cavs in Miami’s 118-90 rout that galvanized the Heat and teased two future titles.James passed on a chance to apologize for his leaving afterward, and there seemed to be no chance for reconciliation with Cleveland or its fans.That, of course, changed four years later when he forgave Gilbert, came home and carried the Cavs to the title he had promised to deliver. Nadine Lustre’s phone stolen in Brazil In 2010, he came back a villain. Now, he’s a champion — Cleveland’s own.James said he isn’t sure what kind of reaction he’ll receive, but he’s confident it won’t be anything like before.He’s changed. The city is different, thanks in part to him. His second stint with the Cavs may have ended earlier than anyone in Cleveland wanted, but anger has been replaced by appreciation.“I think whatever happens, happens,” he said. “But I will be in uniform, I will be there and I will be trying to get a victory. That’s what’s most important.”Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Japeth Aguilar embraces role, gets rewarded with Finals MVP plum Will you be the first P16 Billion Powerball jackpot winner from the Philippines? LATEST STORIES Tim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crown Gov’t to employ 6,000 displaced by Taal Gretchen Barretto’s daughter Dominique graduates magna cum laude from California collegecenter_img Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award UFC to open ‘world’s largest MMA center’ in Shanghai He revived a franchise, lifted an entire region and brought a championship.“It’s going to be fun,” said Cavs forward Kyle Korver, who spent two seasons with James. “LeBron had an incredible run in Cleveland. He touched Cleveland. He touched Akron. Us as individuals, we were all fortunate to get some time with him. I think hopefully he feels that. I think it’s going to be positive overall, and it should be.”Early in the game, the Cavs will show a video tribute of the franchise’s career leader in virtually every statistical category.The images will capture his stirring run in Cleveland — the buzzer-beating shots, the iconic chase-down block on Golden State’s Andre Iguodala in Game 7 of the 2016 NBA Finals, James’ teary reaction to winning an NBA title and the parade celebrating the city’s first sports championship in 52 years.There will also be reminders of his immense impact off the court, including the opening of his I Promise School in Akron, an elementary school for at-risk kids.ADVERTISEMENT Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew View comments Allen Durham still determined to help Meralco win 1st PBA title James was profanely taunted, booed and mocked. It was vile. It was personal.Eight years later, he’ll feel loved.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSJapeth Aguilar wins 1st PBA Finals MVP award for GinebraSPORTSGolden State Warriors sign Lee to multiyear contract, bring back ChrissJames returns to Cleveland on Wednesday night for the first time since leaving as a free agent last summer and signing with the Los Angeles Lakers. He’s coming back to a city still grappling with losing him again and wondering what might have been had the world’s best all-around player stayed.But unlike his previous comeback, the 33-year-old is coming home to be saluted for what he did during 11 years with the Cavaliers.last_img read more

Derrick Hall satisfied with Dbacks buying and se

first_img Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling The Arizona Cardinals have signed three players to the practice squad, the team announced Monday.B.J. Bello, Demetrious Cox and Chris Jones all signed to help the team for the 2018 season.Bello signed with the Cleveland Browns last season as an undrafted rookie free agent out of Illinois State. The 23-year-old linebacker played at Illinois and transferred to Illinois State where he had 67 tackles and six sacks in 12 games played. The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Top Stories Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Arizona Cardinals coach Steve Wilks watches his team during the first day of the team’s NFL football training camp Saturday, July 28, 2018, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Matt York) 0 Comments   Share   Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact Related LinksCardinals adding players following 53-man roster cut downsCardinals wide receiver room down to five after weekend cutsCox was entered the league as an an undrafted rookie free agent with the Cincinnati Bengals in 2017 out of Michigan State. He played in four games at safety with the Carolina Panthers last season before he was put on injury reserve after injuring his ankle.Jones signed with the Detroit Lions as an undrafted rookie free agent in May out of Nebraska. The 23-year-old cornerback was cut by the Lions on Sept. 1. He had 76 tackles and five interceptions in 45 games played for the Cornhuskers.last_img read more