AKRON — When the circus ends, apparently it packs up and leaves town.
That’s what happened Wednesday afternoon as the Nike LeBron James Skills Academy came to a close and the most famous free agent in the history of sports finished his workout and left, without a word.
The NBA and most of Northeast Ohio await a decision that’s coming on national television Thursday night at 9 p.m. and will bring the two-time MVP’s only public comment besides a Larry King interview almost a month ago.
Without acknowledging the gathered media or a small group of fans yelling “We love you,” James exited a side door of Rhodes Arena at 3:19 p.m. Two minutes later, he drove his Range Rover toward the highway and out of sight.
New Cavaliers coach Byron Scott was there for an hour Wednesday afternoon. Upon leaving he said he didn’t talk to James but told the assembled media “I’m always hopeful.”
James arrived at Rhodes Arena around 9:30 a.m. Wednesday. He wasn’t seen from 10:30 until almost 1 p.m., when he began stretching and security cleared the building. During that time Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh held a press conference to announce they’ll play together in Miami next season.
Stopping by Wednesday afternoon to play in pickup games that were closed to outsiders were James’ Cavaliers teammates, Jamario Moon and Danny Green. Moon said he was hopeful James would re-sign with the Cavaliers but said he’d be watching on television to find out, just like everyone else.
“I have sweaty palms,” Moon said. “I’m nervous, too.”
James’ business manager, Maverick Carter, held a private phone conversation in his vehicle outside the arena while the college players attending the Nike Camp left and the pro players arrived.