CLEVELAND – LeBron James was first greeted in the Quicken Loans Arena, as a member of the Los Angeles Lakers, with a consistent ovation from the fans in Cleveland on Wednesday.
It was volatile. He was tense. It was an explosion. Remembrance of LeBron's first game in Cleveland as a member of Miami Heat.
Cleveland Cavaliers, news columnist Sean Peebles saved James's name for the last time he introduced the starting lineup for the Lakers visiting, using a vocal inflection normally reserved for the hometown team. The crowd responded, sitting and taking James with an ovation that lasted for almost a minute.
James embraced former team colleagues Channing Frye and Larry Nance Jr. on the sidelines before heading for the circles in the center where the tight handshake broke out with Tristan Thompson.
James first scored the Lakers possession, causing the crowd to applause when he caught the ball, then whistled after his score left the Lakers 2-0 to start things.
It was a cry out of scene on December 2, 2010 when James returned for the first time as a member of Miami Heat and Cavs had to hire additional security to be in the hand for the intense atmosphere. Of course, when James returned in 2010, there was no Cavs championship banner hanging.
During his first first-term expiration, Cavs made a tribute to James on the video card that included the message, "Thank you for what you did in the yard, but we all know it's bigger than basketball."
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James spent a morning visit to Akron's Ohio Promenade School, Ohio, which he opened this summer, using corporate relationships to fund the school targeting young people at risk.
James's close friend and business partner Maverick Carter stayed at the playground next to the Lakers bench. Two fans sitting near the tunnel, where the Lakers entered the yard, came to play with Cavs and James Lakers T-Shirts – one read "Clev-er", the other read "Lak-land".
"Just another game, really," said James this week to ESPN, watching ahead of the game. "I did not think too much about this too much … Our team is a totally different team there, obviously I still have some boys who are there with Swish (JR Smith) and Double T (Thompson), Kev ) and Channing also returns boys who were there when I won the title, but it is a totally different makeup, a completely different situation, coach (Tyronn) Lue disappeared, obviously Griff (formerly general manager David Griffin) I think it all started with the whole trade "Rie (Kyrie Irving)", so it's a completely different feeling.
James arrived in the arena about two and a half hours before typing, shaking the hands of several familiar faces as he headed for the visitor's visitor for the first time since he played with Heat. He took the yard about 10 minutes to go before printing, and the crowd, who just filled the arena, recognized it with an ovation that became stronger when it was officially introduced and when the video tribute came out.
Cavs coach Larry Drew, who has been an assistant in Cleveland for the past four years, when James drove Cavs to four finals and that championship in 2016, was asked before the game if the organization could have done something different in order to make it, and keep the superstar.
"I do not think there was anything to the extent that we could do more," Drew said. "I mean, it was just a decision a player does when he's in that situation when he's in a certain part of his career, of course he has to look for himself, he has to look for the family is a decision he feels best for him, that's what the players do, and he is perfectly honest when he made the decision, I was not completely shocked, I know everyone hopes to come back, but Bron is a real "He will make the best decision and make the right decision for himself and his family and his career and that's what he did."
Cavs owner Dan Gilbert, who normally lives in court near the Cleveland bank, did not attend James's tribute.
James wore a pair of Nike LeBron 7 white-green in St. Louis. Vincent-St. Mary High School Colors, originally released in 2009 – the final season of its first stage with Cavs – for the game.