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LeBron James takes out ad to say thanks -- to Akron

LeBron James continues his scorched-earth policy, with today's installment a full-page ad in his hometown newspaper, the Akron Beacon Journal, thanking fans and telling them that Akron will always be his "central focus" even though he's going to be taking his "talents to South Beach" the Miami Heat.

In the ad, he says, in part:

"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. Their guidance, encouragement and support will always be with me.
"Akron is my home, and the central focus of my life. It's where I started, and it's where I will always come back to. You can be sure that I will continue to do everything I can for this city, which is so important to my family and me. Thank you for your love and support. You mean everything to me."

You'll notice the absence of the word "Cleveland," the city in which he played for, oh, seven years. Cleveland, via the Plain Dealer, is not taking this particularly well. It's as if he visited Lindsay Lohan's manicurist all over again.

By Cindy Boren  |  August 3, 2010; 9:55 AM ET
Categories:  NBA  
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Comments

I bet that Lebron feels like Cleveland was giving him no love (and rightly so). So now he is probably a little angry at Cleveland burning his jersey and whatnot. Personally I think both sides play a part in this.

Posted by: Dash10 | August 3, 2010 11:01 AM | Report abuse

Bron is showing love to HIS city, nothing wrong with that. Cleveland shouldn't have been claiming him anyway, acting like he was from there when Akron is as close to them as Baltimore is to DC. And NOBODY from Baltimore claims they're from DC, lol.

Posted by: walkdwalk | August 3, 2010 11:36 AM | Report abuse

Cleveland has made it very clear how it now feels about LeBron. Why is he not permitted to say, "Y su madre tambien" by excluding Cleveland from his thank you? Jeez.

Posted by: Nemo24601 | August 3, 2010 11:37 AM | Report abuse

I remain confused by the venom spewed at James (or any professional athlete). He is a paid professional. He did his job well. He honored his contract and when it ended decided to move on. He owes Cleveland nothing. I contend that he caused some of this bitterness in the way that he announced his move to Miami though.

Posted by: yeswecan3 | August 3, 2010 12:44 PM | Report abuse

Making a mountain out of a molehill. Columnist try something original.

Posted by: rlj611 | August 3, 2010 12:52 PM | Report abuse

Professional Sports is a business, and the good people of Cleveland need to understand that. LeBron honored his contract, and now it's time for him to move on.

Having said that, I understand the sports psychology of the city of Cleveland, a town that has had a championship drought of mammoth proportions. They've endured Brian Sipe's interception in the Ice Bowl, Jordan's shot over Craig Elho, Earnest Byner's fumble versus the Broncos, and those great Indian (Ramirez/Vizquel/Thome) teams not winning the Series.

Pretty tough for folks who've gotten used to hearing their city called "The Mistake by the Lake".

Posted by: owiz | August 3, 2010 1:55 PM | Report abuse

Lebron's response creates double polarity. It pulls far to the left because he addresses his hometown of Akron. And he ALSO knows how Cleveland will perceive his ad because of the timing, pulling way to the right. His PR people really have a terrible way of handling media situations for this guy... *sigh*

But with that said, Lebron is a grown man. He can do what he wants at the end of the day. The commish gave him that ticket the day he entered the league.

Posted by: cbmuzik | August 3, 2010 2:36 PM | Report abuse

HA!!!! I love it.... The citizens of Cleveland thought they owned Lebron and he's free to say eff you to all those that made money off of him and his work.... To paraphrase Shaq, "Yo, Cleveland tell me how Bron's azz taste!"

His last game as a Cav he went 27 19 10 and they still want to say he quit.... Ha, glad he left that town high and dry...

Posted by: CoCoSausage | August 3, 2010 3:06 PM | Report abuse

This is the Akron newspaper. Why would he be thanking Cleveland? Do you think people in Cleveland get the Akron Beacon journal or the Cleveland Plains Dealer? Ho is this scorch-earthed? Too many questions, but let me stop here

Posted by: kgills7 | August 3, 2010 3:11 PM | Report abuse

I'm sure LaBron James didn't get the idea from Z.Ilgauskas who did the same thing 2 days earlier.

L. James is SUCH a Doooooouuuucheeee!!!

Posted by: Redskin_in_miami | August 3, 2010 3:16 PM | Report abuse

I'm sure L. James didn't get the idea from Z. Ilgauskas who also ran a newspaper ad thanking Cleveland fans 2 days BEFORE James ran his.

L. James is such a DDDOOOOUUUUCHEEEEE!!!

Posted by: Redskin_in_miami | August 3, 2010 3:19 PM | Report abuse

And NOBODY from Baltimore claims they're from DC, lol.

Posted by: walkdwalk | August 3, 2010 11:36 AM


Nobody from Baltimore can SPELL DC much less claim it.

Posted by: elfreako | August 3, 2010 3:37 PM | Report abuse

While Akron is a separate city and his hometown, the Cavs are their local NBA team and the Akron and Cleveland markets overlap, so it does seem foolish and immature for LeBron to leave out any gesture to the Cleveland/Northern Ohio fans (especially the kids) who supported him. Anyone think he only ran the ad, just before his event in Akron, to lessen chances of embarassment there?

Posted by: exDCinNY | August 3, 2010 4:29 PM | Report abuse

The Lebron hate amazes me. I'm truly fascinated by it. Akron is his home town. He won a national championship with a close-knit group of guys from there. Even though the media somehow thinks Cleveland is "practically Akron," why would we assume James felt the same way? I live in Fayetteville, NC, very near to Raleigh. But I don't claim Raleigh. I claim Fayetteville.

And, with the Cavs' owner's childish letter on the Web site and Cleveland fans' reaction, did they ever care a thing about him in the first place? Did people in Akron burn Lebron's jerseys?

Posted by: mypitts2 | August 3, 2010 4:44 PM | Report abuse

This isn't news, really. I thought maybe if I'd just ignore this, it would disappear. But yet, here we are at the end of the work day, and it is still a headline. Unbelievable.

Posted by: forgetthis | August 3, 2010 4:50 PM | Report abuse

"Scorched earth" policy? So let me get this straight - when people are relentlessly attacking Lebron for... oh, I don't know... simply exercising his right to chose where he works (a choice that everyone of them take for granted, mind you), and he in effect tells them to shove it, then he's the one practicing scorched earth policy?????

Get this through your thick neanderthal skulls, you morons. CLEVELAND DIDN'T OWN LEBRON JAMES! HE WAS, AND IS, A FREE MAN! A concept I know quite a few of you are still having problems with...

Posted by: repubsux | August 3, 2010 4:57 PM | Report abuse

I wonder how many people Dan Gilbert terminated following the ending of a contract or better yet how many people he simply fired before the contract was completed? For Dan Gilbert to be the boss and have been for a long time he sure acts like a high school graduate who seem entitled just because he graduated from high school.

Posted by: SteelWheel25 | August 3, 2010 5:05 PM | Report abuse

Classy Lebron , clasy-----CLASSLESS

Posted by: jmfromdc | August 3, 2010 6:16 PM | Report abuse

Seriously???? Why is this still a thing? Lebron did what he felt was best for his professional career. Noone can fault him for that. He's paying respects to his roots and letting Akron know that there's still love between he and they. I'm sure that the people of Akron understand the difference between business and pleasure and respect him for his move.

The people of Cleveland and the front office of the Cavaliers are jack wagons. The people of that city should seriously blame the front office of that team, for not putting the best possible talent around Lebron to win Championships.

Posted by: Debonair31 | August 3, 2010 7:38 PM | Report abuse

Who cares what this over-paid, over-pampered totally unimportant person in the USA says or does? He is basically a non-item. He contributes nothing to this country. If he is able to earn millions, so be it. He isn't getting a penny from me and I could care less what happens to him.

Posted by: cougartonyusa | August 3, 2010 8:57 PM | Report abuse

Le Bron is a savvy business man. Why would he not move to a market, w/ more opportunity to win a championship. Folks like Charles Barkley can't even talk. Even he eventually was traded, & he NEVER won 1. Where's the honor in THAT? Regardless, the bottom line is he HONORED his contract. Cleveland should be grateful, for the fact that Le Bron CARRIED them. LOTS of folks got paid. The league, Dan Gilbert, Usher Raymond, the other owners got paid, all the way down to folks hockin' crap on the street. SO, show the man some respect. Any one of you naysaying broke arses out there would've done the exact SAME thing. Talk smack, if you WANT to.

Posted by: The_Funknician | August 3, 2010 9:45 PM | Report abuse

King James and his immediate family lived/worked in northeastern Ohio, where snow is king during the N.B.A.-season; he and his family would drive 80-100 miles, round-trip from their homes, for both practices and home-games during the nastiest-weather months of the year. His mother bore and raised him, and helped him make some of the decisions, too, that would affect and benefit his future. It's a whole lot nicer to live where it's nice to be outside during the N.B.A.-season, even at night--and especially for the mom who helped get him where he got. It's probably pretty nice not to have much fear for your driving safety in driving to and from "work", as they did (and we do) from mid/late October through March in northeastern Uh-hiya.

Posted by: marc85 | August 3, 2010 10:23 PM | Report abuse

James is 'king' . . . it said so in embroidery on the back of the driver's seat in the Hummer which his mom bought for him when he got the fat contract from Nike while still in high school . . . which Hummer he would drive himself to school . . . . his wardrobe was right in step with the Hummer . . . . . and the teachers at St Vincent handled him with kid gloves . . . . . he should be given credit for his loyalty to Akron. "live the king"

rmk/akron

Posted by: rmkraus | August 3, 2010 10:24 PM | Report abuse

Lebron is digging a huge hole for himself. Like a petulant child that throws a tantrum when mommy does not show him attention, this kid (he has yet to prove that he is a man) is trying to punish Cleveland for not continuing to lick his boots.

His lifelong buddies (this boy is only twenty five) cannot play center or point guard. What Lebron, Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh need to do is grow up and show some maturity. All the glitz and glitter they have displayed so far should have waited until after they win the 10 championships they promised.

Lebron, Kobe, Gasol, Bynum, Garnett, Ray Allen, Pierce, Howard, Durant, Rose and the rest of the NBA is waiting for you and when you meet them don’t forget your crown your royal highness.

Posted by: jimarush | August 4, 2010 12:46 AM | Report abuse

What kind of idiot nicknames himself "King"?

The guy is a tremendously skilled basketball player. That's it. It's funny people call him a "businessman"; a joke since he's not about making money. If he was, he would have gone elsewhere, and not necessarily Cleveland.

He's about feeding his own ego. In 25 years, he'll be flat broke and unable to understand where it all went.

Posted by: pga6 | August 4, 2010 1:21 AM | Report abuse

First of all, who cares? Secondly, give the kid a break. He is living the American Dream. There is no such thing as loyalty in professional sports, the teams do what is best for the team and the players should do what is best for the player. Cleveland is full of a bunch of whiners, first over the Browns move to Baltimore and now this.

Posted by: JCM-51 | August 4, 2010 5:12 AM | Report abuse

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