When LeBron James left Cleveland the first time in 2010, he did it with unfinished business still on the table. It also wasn’t the most graceful exit he could’ve fashioned for himself, but he was young and he learned from those mistakes.
Things are different this time around. When he left for Los Angeles last summer in free agency, he did so having brought the city of Cleveland its first championship in more than 50 years.
Most of that lingering resentment after “The Decision” has long evaporated. Still, going into his first return to Cleveland this season as a member of the Lakers, it was unclear exactly how the home crowd would react. Fandom is a fickle, inscrutable thing. But when they announced his name in the starting lineup at The Q on Wednesday night, the crowd stood and cheered for the northeast Ohio native.