For the second time in his career, LeBron James will be returning to play the Cleveland Cavaliers as a member of the road team, now the Los Angeles Lakers. However, this will likely be a much different return.
In 2010, when he played against the Cavaliers as a member of the Miami Heat, there was anger and resentment from the crowd, along with a ton of booing.
But now, he returns as a player who delivered on his promise of bringing a championship to Cleveland and as someone who has left a lasting effect on the community. This return will be more about celebrating James than booing him.
George Hill knows exactly what this return should look like for James, and had some choice words for Cavaliers fans who choose to boo James instead of cheer for him, according to Jason Lloyd of The Athletic:
Also in this is George Hill on LeBron's reception tomorrow night: "If you boo him, you're an asshole." https://t.co/f4CMISSaOP
— Jason Lloyd (@ByJasonLloyd) November 20, 2018
It’s likely there won’t be any booing from Cavaliers faithful, as the differences between his 2010 departure for the Heat and this one for the Lakers are obvious.
In 2010, James had been there for seven seasons and never delivered on a title. He also left by airing a one-hour ESPN special so that he could join Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh on the Heat. Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert also left James a harsh and critical letter in 2010 about his departure, something that resonated with fans deeply.
Now, James brought home the long sought-after championship, left after what was an admittedly frustrating season in which the Cavaliers got swept out of the Finals, and announced his departure through a press release while on his way to Europe.
There may still be Cavaliers fans who wish to boo James, but they should know that they won’t be heard by him as they’ll be drowned out by cheers when his name is announced at the Quicken Loans Arena.