LeBron James has had one of the greatest careers of all-time and has an argument as the greatest player ever in NBA history.
Of all of his accomplishments, however, perhaps his greatest came in the 2016 NBA Finals when he led the Cleveland Cavaliers past the Golden State Warriors.
The story is well-known by now as James and the Cavaliers came back from a 3-1 deficit to defeat the Warriors in seven games. Those Warriors were heavy favorites and had set a new record for wins in a season, but James dropped a triple-double in Game 7 including arguably the greatest block in basketball history. The championship was the first in Cavaliers history and forever made him a legend within the organization.
With the 2019-20 NBA season being postponed, one of the games that was missed was James’ return to Cleveland. James recently reflected on winning that championship and admitted to being sad that he doesn’t have the opportunity to play in front of his hometown fans this season, according to Dave McMenamin of ESPN:
“It’s always special going back there and looking up there and look at that banner,” James said, referring to the 2016 championship banner James, an Akron, Ohio, native who played 11 of his 17 seasons in Cleveland, helped earn. “Think about all the great memories that we had. And then being able to play in front of my friends and family again. That would have been so cool. … I’m kind of bummed out about that.”
This wasn’t one of the games circled on many Lakers fans’ calendars but anytime James returns to Cleveland, it is a big deal in his eyes. The atmosphere certainly isn’t as hostile as it was when he left for the Miami Heat since he brought the Cavaliers the championship they so badly desired. James remains a hero in his hometown, but most players enjoy playing in front of their closest friends and he misses out on that opportunity this season.
Last season, James put on a show in Cleveland, dropping 32 points, 14 rebounds, and seven assists in a 109-105 win and with the level he was playing at when the season was suspended, a similar performance was certainly in play.
James has been open about not being high on playing games without fans and missing out on his hometown ones has stuck with him this season.