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Cleveland fans have bombarded LeBron with love this morning

Jul 3, 2010, 11:17 AM EDT

Thumbnail image for CAVALIERS_LOGO.pngLeBron James meets the final two suitors for his free-agent services this morning, and on his way in, the fans of the Cleveland Cavaliers have made it very clear that they would like him to stick around for a few more, well, careers.

Brian Windhorst of the Cleveland Plain-Dealer is outside the meetings and reporting on Twitter from the scene:

There are hundreds of Cavs fans in downtown with
team-provided signs lining street to meeting. Outside building fans
chanting ‘Noah sucks’

and:

Cavs just arrived in van & SUV. Fans threw
powder in air over cars as they entered garage. It’s a scene.”

But can you blame them? There’s a lot of talk about this being a “don’t-lose” situation for the Cavs. As in, the city and fanbase would be devastated if he left. But they genuinely love this player. He’s from Akron just up the road. He represents a true Ohio superstar, and those don’t come around hardly ever in this day and age.

But even further, this whole situation is more than just about a player. It’s about Cleveland not wanting to be the bride’s maid, again. About them not wanting to be passed up for a bigger market. They have terrific fans there (even if historically they haven’t supported the Cavs) and they want to show James that there are more important things than just fashion line deals and Pat Riley’s promises.

If the Chicago fans will always love Jordan, and the Knicks fans will always judge harshly because it’s New York, and the Miami fans are at the beach, Cleveland wants to show James that no one will ever love him the way they love him. As a native son, as their icon, as their star.

But still. Powder? Really? Really?!

  1. Ben - Jul 3, 2010 at 12:44 PM

    Nice article except for the “even if historically they haven’t supported the Cavs”. The 10 years before Lebron the team averaged over 16,000 fans per contest. When some really bad basketball was being played.

  2. esox - Jul 3, 2010 at 12:45 PM

    “There are hundreds of Cavs fans in downtown with team-provided signs lining street to meeting. Outside building fans chanting ‘Noah sucks’
    Had it been Chicago there would be thousands of fans..

  3. Mike Hulse from Cleveland - Jul 3, 2010 at 12:54 PM

    Amen Ben, many Cavs fans suffered through the Fratello years that transitioned into the Randy Wittman and Ricky Davis years, yet remained loyal. And don’t make me go back to the huge support the Cavs had in the eighties and some really good (but not good enough) teams.
    If you got to http://www.cavs.com they have a great summary of his career and the connection to the city. It makes it hard to argue against him staying.
    The entire relationship is the definition of all the stars aligning, i.e the Cavs getting to draft him, and him being from the area, and of course his prodigal ability.
    We deserve a Lebron once in our miserable existance as a die hard Cleveland fan. STAY LEBRON.

  4. i-77 north - Jul 3, 2010 at 1:19 PM

    Matt Moore is just a salty bulls fan. Where were all the Bulls fans before Jordan got there? And all the lakers fans before Magic? Cavs fans are just passionate and you cant knock that. sit your ass down matt moor.

  5. allie1012 - Jul 3, 2010 at 1:44 PM

    There would have been thousands of Cavs fans lining the streets if the meeting time hadn’t changed. Most of us didn’t even know it changed. We were prepared to go down at the originally planned meeting time.

  6. edgy - Jul 3, 2010 at 3:31 PM

    If you read the tea leaves, Cavs fans, you’d egg the guy’s house and move on to another savior. Frankly, I think his ego is getting in the way when he runs around the Cleveland area to get the fans to publicly kiss his bottom when they’ve been kissing it since 2003. He knows how they feel about him and he knows that they’ve supported him and yet, he seems to have more ego than God to want to get them to show it.
    Second, if he was signing with the Cavs, he should have told them before free agency started and then went out and started recruiting free agents to go to Cleveland to bolster their chances of winning a title. I think that he may be headed for Chicago, which would give him the best chance at a title outside of the Cavs and it will be all about the money if he goes to New York or New Jersey because they’re more than two max players away from winning the championship, no matter what people think.
    Third, I agree with Cleveland if they choose to let him go and not work out a sign-and-trade. Look, you can say that they’re only hurting themselves but all they’re going to get are a bunch of expiring contracts and no real value while he walks away with a max contract. They mortgaged their future over the past 3 years to get him the players that were supposed help the team get over the top and unless his suitors are willing to give up REAL value in players and draft choices, they’re better off letting him go and not doing him the favor of giving him the best contract possible.
    Finally, for all the comparisons with Jordan over the years, Michael NEVER had a team that led the NBA in wins that didn’t win the NBA title while James has had it happen twice. You can make fun of James’ cast but face it, they are better than people give them credit for and after every one of the transactions that brought these guys in, Cavs fans were in agreement that the trades or signings were getting them closer to the championship that they felt LeBron was touched by God to bring to them. Didn’t happen and while his cast mates will get the blame, James will come out unscathed. He is the Wilt Chamberlain of his era and don’t be surprised if his fans throw his teammates under the bus if he retires without a championship, as Wilt’s fans were prepared to do until the 76ers put together that magical season.

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