NBA

LeBron thanks fans in Akron paper ad

Share This Story

   
 

AKRON, Ohio (AP)

LeBron James has extended an olive branch to his Ohio hometown in the form of a full-page newspaper ad, days before making his first public appearance in Akron since leaving for the Miami Heat.

"Akron is my home, and the central focus of my life," James wrote in Tuesday's Akron Beacon Journal. "It's where I started, and it's where I will always come back to."

Conspicuously absent from the ad is any mention of Cleveland, home of the Cavaliers, the team that James famously dumped in a much-maligned ESPN television special last month. The ad features photographs of James at his annual charity bike-a-thon, where he hands out hundreds of bicycles and joins a mile-long ride through downtown Akron. Despite speculation that James might skip the event, he has said he plans to show up on Saturday.

The traditional eight-mile trek that follows the ride has been canceled this year.

"It was here where I first learned how to play basketball, and where I met the people who would become my lifelong friends and mentors," James wrote in the ad. "Their guidance, encouragement and support will always be with me."

The ad appeared two days after former Cavs player Zydrunas Ilgauskas took out a similar ad in The Plain Dealer to thank Cleveland fans for their support. A veteran who played backup to Shaquille O'Neal last season, Ilgauskas quickly followed his friend James to the Heat in July, in search of his first championship ring.

Emotions are still running high among Cleveland fans who felt betrayed by James, who was revered as "The King" in this city for years. After James fled to Miami to join Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, Cavs owner Dan Gilbert sent off a scathing letter to Cleveland fans vowing to win a title before James does.

In sporting goods stores, anti-James T-shirts have become popular, including one that says "We Are All Quitnesses." That's a bitter nod to a gigantic downtown mural - since taken down - that featured James with his arms outstretched after tossing powder into the air under the heading: "We Are All Witnesses."

And last week, a baseball fan wearing a Miami Heat jersey with James' name on it was escorted out of a Cleveland Indians game after he was pelted with beer and peanuts by angry spectators.

Tagged: Heat, LeBron James

Related Stories

Member Comments

Please note by clicking on "Post comment" you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Use and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. Be Polite. Inappropriate posts may be removed by the moderator.

powered by


NBA Videos

NBA considering mid-season Vegas tournament? Posted: Jul 16, 2014
Adam Silver confirms the NBA has engaged in early conversations about the possib...

LeBron and Blatt 'will work together beautifully' Posted: Jul 14, 2014
Cavaliers head coach David Blatt on LeBron James' decision to return to Clevelan...

LeBron's back and so are the Cavs Posted: Jul 11, 2014
FOX Sports 1's Gary Payton weighs-in on LeBron's decision to return to Cleveland...

More Than Sports on MSN

Fox Sports Store

    itemName itemURL imageSrc price itemDescription
    adidas Blake Griffin Los Angeles Clippers Revolution 30 Performance Jersey - Red http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Los_Angeles_Clippers/browse/featuredproduct/491845/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_491000/ff_491845_xl.jpg&w=100 59.95 adidas Blake Griffin Los Angeles Clippers Revolution 30 Performance Jersey - Red
    adidas LeBron James Miami Heat Revolution 30 Swingman Performance Jersey-Black http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Miami_Heat/browse/featuredproduct/498609/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_498000/ff_498609_xl.jpg&w=100 89.95 adidas LeBron James Miami Heat Revolution 30 Swingman Performance Jersey-Black
    adidas Carmelo Anthony New York Knicks Revolution 30 Swingman Performance Jersey - Royal Blue http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_New_York_Knicks/browse/featuredproduct/620470/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_620000/ff_620470_xl.jpg&w=100 49.99 adidas Carmelo Anthony New York Knicks Revolution 30 Swingman Performance Jersey..
    Mitchell & Ness San Antonio Spurs Black Solid Script Snapback Adjustable Hat http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_San_Antonio_Spurs/browse/featuredproduct/692239/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_692000/ff_692239_xl.jpg&w=100 25.95 Mitchell & Ness San Antonio Spurs Black Solid Script Snapback Adjustable Hat
    Majestic Kobe Bryant Los Angeles Lakers Logo Man T-Shirt - Black http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Los_Angeles_Lakers/browse/featuredproduct/851828/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_851000/ff_851828_xl.jpg&w=100 23.95 Majestic Kobe Bryant Los Angeles Lakers Logo Man T-Shirt - Black
    Majestic Kevin Durant Oklahoma City Thunder Logo Man T-Shirt - White http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Oklahoma_City_Thunder/browse/featuredproduct/851842/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_851000/ff_851842_xl.jpg&w=100 23.95 Majestic Kevin Durant Oklahoma City Thunder Logo Man T-Shirt - White
    adidas Miami Heat 2012 NBA Eastern Conference Champions Locker Room T-Shirt - White http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Miami_Heat/browse/featuredproduct/890174/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_890000/ff_890174_xl.jpg&w=100 21.95 adidas Miami Heat 2012 NBA Eastern Conference Champions Locker Room T-Shirt - Wh..
    adidas Oklahoma City Thunder 2012 NBA Western Conference Champions Locker Room Flex Hat - Black http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Oklahoma_City_Thunder/browse/featuredproduct/890384/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_890000/ff_890384_xl.jpg&w=100 19.99 adidas Oklahoma City Thunder 2012 NBA Western Conference Champions Locker Room F..