Cavaliers planning LeBron James video tribute for Wednesday’s Lakers visit
LeBron James makes his first return to Quicken Loans Arena since signing with the the Los Angeles Lakers this past offseason on Wednesday for a showdown with the Cleveland Cavaliers. The Cavaliers have planned a video tribute for homegrown superstar and native son that will be played at some point during Wednesday’s game, sources have told Cleveland.com.
James recently addressed what it will be like to pay a visit to his old stomping grounds for the first time in a Lakers uniform. He not surprisingly is looking forward to it.
“I’m returning to a place where I’ve spent 11 years of my career,” James told The Athletic’s Joe Vardon. “I had some great moments, had some not so great moments, but, all in all, when you give everything to whatever, the franchise, a teammate, a coaching staff, anything, that’s all that matters.”
James is expected to receive a far warmer reception from Cavaliers fans this time around compared to the vitriolic environment that greeted him at The Q in 2010 when he returned with the Miami Heat for the first time after taking his talents to South Beach. The fact that James made good on his word by delivering Cleveland a long-awaited championship before again departing certainly tempered any bitterness harbored by the city’s fans this time.
Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert, who infamously penned a scathing statement upon James’ first departure — Comic Sans font and all — even praised James’ legacy upon his departure this past summer.
“The entire Cavaliers franchise thanks LeBron for that precious moment and for all of the excitement he delivered as he led our team to four straight NBA Finals appearances,” Gilbert wrote. “LeBron, you came home and delivered the ultimate goal. Nothing but appreciation and gratitude for everything you put into every moment you spent in a Cavaliers uniform. We look forward to the retirement of the famous #23 Cavs jersey one day down the line.”
Wednesday’s game marks the only time James’ Lakers will pay a visit to Cleveland this season. The Cavs will head west to face the Lakers at Staples Center on Jan. 13.