Six years after ending his second stint with the Cavaliers to head west, the 38-year-old James opened up on his emotions after returning to play against his home team.
‘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,’ James said. ‘I think it was a 52-year LeBron James reflects on his ‘special’ time in Cleveland after the Lakers’ 121-115 win over the Cavaliers: ‘Stepping back on this floor is always a pretty cool feeling’ 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.’
After winning two titles with the Miami Heat in 2012 and 2013, James returned to Cleveland to fulfil his promise of bringing a title to his native city.
The promise came to fruition in 2016 when James helped the Cavaliers fight a 3-1 deficit in the NBA Finals against a Golden State Warriors team that had the best regular season record (73-9) in NBA history.
LeBron James reflected on his time playing for the Cavaliers after the Lakers’ 121-115 victory
James was born in Akron, 30 miles south of Cleveland, and was drafted by the Cavaliers
‘Stepping back on this floor is always a pretty cool feeling, looking up there and pretty much being a part of all of the banners in this arena,’ James said. ‘And the No. 1 banner, the one that sits in the middle, was that ’16 championship, so that’s pretty cool.
‘I grew up 30 miles south of here and to be able to be drafted here and spend my first seven years here and do some special things that the franchise had never seen.’
On November 22, James became the first NBA player to reach 39 thousand points in a victory over the Utah Jazz. And on the same day as his return against the Cavs, James’ charitable foundation opened ‘Lebron James Home Court’, a museum in his hometown, Akron, Ohio, honoring his achievements on and off the basketball court.
‘I used to get on my mom a lot about saving everything since I was like started first playing sports,’ James said.
‘And she kind of threw it back in my face when the stuff was being prepared down at the museum, because a lot of the stuff in there is because of the stuff that she saved. And that’s pretty cool.’
Now a member of the Lakers, James has successfully won a title with every franchise he played for.
Additionally, he has four Finals MVP awards and four regular season MVPs. James has also made 19 All-Star appearances in addition to a growing list of accolades.
Off the court, James actively supports several non profits as well as starting the LeBron James Family Foundation in Akron. In 2018, James’ ‘I Promise’ school opened it’s doors to help struggling elementary school students stay on track with their education.
James has successfully won titles with every franchise he played for in his 21-year NBA career
James scored 22 points with six rebounds, six assists, two blocks and two steals on Saturday
‘I think it’s pretty cool that I’ve been able to do some things in my life to be able to bring back to my community, continue to highlight my community and give my community a place where people want to visit, want to see and want to be proud of it,’ James said.
‘And I am. I’m definitely proud of the fact that my foundation has been able to do some great things, and this is just one of the things that we can all be proud of, for sure, in my hometown.’
James had a busy 36-minute shift against the Cavaliers to culminate a milestone-filled week. James scored 22 points with six rebounds, six assists, two, blocks and two steals. The Lakers are currently 10-7 for the season and sit seventh in the Western Conference.
‘When I was drafted, I said I wanted to light this place up like Vegas,’ James said. ‘So I feel like I did a decent job of doing that when I was here for my 11 years.’