The vibe around LeBron James’ return to Cleveland to play against the Cavaliers is so much different than it was when he did this for the first time. Back in 2010, James and the Miami Heat marched into Quicken Loans Arena and faced perhaps the most hostile environment a basketball team has faced this decade. It was a surreal night because even if you weren’t in the arena, or the city, or the state of Ohio, the vitriol towards James was palpable.
That’s not the case as he makes his return to Cleveland for the first time as a member of the Los Angeles Lakers. While the sting of losing James persists, there doesn’t seem to be much bad blood, as evidenced by the standing ovation James received during introductions. Plus, George Hill said any fan who boos James on Wednesday night is an “a**hole,” and, well, no one wants to be called that.
Beyond this, the Cavaliers broadcast a tribute video to James during the first media time out. It unsurprisingly paid tribute to what he did on and off the court for the people of northeast Ohio. As a nice touch, after it aired, the folks in charge of music at The Q played “Forever” by Drake, Kanye West, Lil Wayne, and Eminem, which was recorded for the 2008 documentary about James, More than a Game.