Joe Thomas gets standing ovation, hug from LeBron James at Cavs game (vid)
Newly retired Joe Thomas made an appearance Monday night at Quicken Loans Arena to take in the Cleveland Cavaliers-Milwaukee Bucks tilt. And the beloved, former Cleveland Browns offensive lineman received a tribute befitting such an iconic figure in the Cleveland sports scene.
Thomas, who held his farewell press conference earlier Monday, received an enthusiastic standing ovation from the fans in attendance at the Q and also shared an embrace with LeBron James during the first timeout of the nationally televised game.
CLEVELAND LEGENDS. @KingJames showing some love to @joethomas73. #ThankYou73 pic.twitter.com/EExdYPs8Ju
— Cleveland Cavaliers (@cavs) March 19, 2018
James, who posted yet another triple-double (40 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists) — a not-uncommon occurrence this season — in Cleveland’s 124-117 victory over Milwaukee, weighed in on how special it was to pay tribute to such a “legend.”
"He's a legend around here."@KingJames after sharing a special moment with retired @Browns left tackle @joethomas73 pic.twitter.com/bXQBE9y4yo
— FOX Sports Ohio (@FOXSportsOH) March 20, 2018
Thomas also reacted on Twitter to the reception he received at the game, saying he was “humbled.”
— Joe Thomas (@joethomas73) March 20, 2018
James previously took to Twitter to praise Thomas shortly after the Browns star announced his retirement.
Helleva career @joethomas73!!! Next stop Canton for you brother!! https://t.co/QtoT0DKUwP
— LeBron James (@KingJames) March 14, 2018
Thomas will always be revered in Cleveland for his contributions, despite the fact the Browns never fielded a team worthy of his leadership, talent and love for the game. And from the sound of it, Thomas may be making inroads to staying involved in the NFL, albeit in a wholly different field.