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Lakers’ LeBron James Reflects on Return Game vs. Cavs, NBA Title Win with Cleveland

Lakers’ LeBron James Reflects on Return Game vs. Cavs, NBA Title Win with Cleveland
Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerTwitter LogoFeatured Columnist IVNovember 26, 2023

CLEVELAND, OHIO - NOVEMBER 25: LeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers acknowledges the fans during a tribute video during the first quarter against the Cleveland Cavaliers at Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse on November 25, 2023 in Cleveland, Ohio. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)

Jason Miller/Getty Images

Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James enjoyed what he called a “special” homecoming Saturday night as his team earned a 121-115 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers.

“Spent 11 years here and being able to come back after my Miami stint and win a championship here for this franchise, for this city, I think it was a 52-year [title] drought or something like that in the city of Cleveland for any sports team, I think that was just something that I will never forget no matter how old I get,” LeBron said, per ESPN’s Dave McMenamin. “I’ll always remember that moment.”

He added that returning to Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse “is always a pretty cool feeling,” and he still savors looking up and seeing Cleveland’s 2016 NBA championship banner in the rafters.

The Cavs posted a picture of James celebrating the title outside of the Lakers’ locker room, and they aired a video tribute commemorating his various scoring milestones.

Bleacher Report @BleacherReport

The Cavs put up a “Welcome Back LeBron!” sign outside the Lakers locker room 🙌👑

(via @mcten) pic.twitter.com/2F0d8iDZjv

NBA TV @NBATV

All love for the King in Cleveland 👑

The @cavs pay tribute to LeBron in his return! pic.twitter.com/LkcyPM2ZNf

This obviously wasn’t the first time James came back to Northeast Ohio on an opposing team. Where he’s at in his career might have made him a little more nostalgic, though. The 38-year-old probably doesn’t have many trips left as an active player.

Plenty will recall how James persona non grata in Cleveland immediately after he signed with the Miami Heat in 2010. That anger had largely subsided even before he signed on for a second spell with the Cavs in 2014, and the 2016 NBA Finals run effectively granted him sainthood.

Now, the LeBron James Museum in Akron, Ohio, will stand as a physical reminder of his legacy long after he has retired.

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