LeBron James had an illustrious seven-year career in Cleveland and obviously is without doubt the greatest player to ever play for the Cavaliers. Many Clevelanders like myself were very bitter about him leaving, but time heals wounds (my wounds at least). He did a lot for the city that had a terrible franchise, and helped put them back on the basketball map. He took a team to the 2007 NBA Finals with Ira Newble and Sasha Pavolic in the starting lineup. And in each of those seven years in Cleveland, and one in Miami, Zydrunas Ilgauskas was with him at center.
The two were great friends, and were the two most beloved players on the Cavs roster from 2003-2010. So now with the Cavaliers retiring “Big Z’s” #11 jersey Saturday, March 8th, against the New York Knicks, there are rumors going around that LeBron will be attending the Cavs game in support of his long time buddy.
If he attends, that will be the first of two visits James will make to Cleveland in 10 days, due to Miami playing at the Q March 18th
A lot of people on Twitter have been proclaiming that this is a sign King James is coming back to Cleveland in the off-season. Others think it’s just a chance for James to support his friend, Big Z. The real question is, will the Cavs acknowledge that LeBron is at the game? Will people cheer for him in anticipation of his free agency at the end of the season? Will King James and Big Z sit next to each other during the game? If so, they’d have to acknowledge LeBron.
Whatever the case may be, it will make for an intense environment in Cleveland Saturday night, whether the crowd is excited or hostile.
This is also a great case for the Cavs to give LeBron a show face-to-face without him being on the court. No guarantees he’ll be back with the Wine & Gold, but watch Kyrie Irving have a very good game on Friday and try to steal the spotlight from Big Z, James, and even Carmelo Anthony. I also wouldn’t be surprised if Anderson Varejao were back by then, as well as Dion Waiters and CJ Miles, who have all been injured the past couple of weeks.
There was already going to be a ton of emotion going for retiring the number of one of the best Cavaliers of all-time. Zydrunas was beloved in Cleveland, and even when he went to South Beach, due to not having a “Decision” on national TV. He will get a standing ovation, no doubt. What will happen if LeBron James shows up in his old arena? We’ll just have to wait and see.
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Main Photo Credit: Ernie J Aranyosi, Cal Sport Media