Tuesday, August 3rd, 2010 at 9:00 am  |  54 responses

LeBron James Thanks Akron; No Mention of Cleveland

Following in the footsteps of Big Z, LBJ took out an ad in his hometown paper to thank the people of Akron. Cavs fans and residents of Cleveland? Not so much: “Two days after Zydrunas Ilgauskas took out an ad in The Plain Dealer to thank the fans of Cleveland for their support, LeBron James placed a similar ad in the Beacon-Journal in Akron … While James praised his hometown of Akron, he made no mention of Cleveland, where he played at Quicken Loans Arena for seven years as a member of the Cavs.”

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  • http://itsahardwoodlife.blogspot.com omphalos

    Too little too late. The fact that he copied big Z shows how clueless he is.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Eboy

    Should he have? Wouldn’t it have been a waste of his and their time?

  • T-Money

    Considering that his jersey was burned and the letter the Cavs owner wrote… was anyone really expecting him to thank the Cavs? No, seriously?

  • http://Slamonline.com Pippen Ain’t Easy

    He cares for Akron, but he doesn’t give a $#!T for Cleveland.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Eboy

    For those that can’t read, he didn’t thank Cleveland or the Cavs, he thanked Akron.

  • http://twitter.com/HarryByrdMan44 LA Huey

    Yeah, I didn’t roast Bron for “The Decision” or his decision but this seems a little late. Oh, well.

  • http://www.slamonline.com/online/category/blogs/farmer-jones/ Ryan Jones

    The ad was timed with his charity bike event, which takes place this week.
    In Akron.
    His hometown.
    This is not that hard.

  • Atrain

    He’s still a dick? Shocking

  • http://twitter.com/HarryByrdMan44 LA Huey

    @farmer jones, yeah, the bike-a-thingy. Forgot about that.

  • JTaylor21

    He’s thanking the place where his from not where he unfortunately played ball at. It’s like me showing love for the NO and I was born in the motherland. FU*K CLEVELAND.

  • MikeC.

    He’ll be seeing the good people of Akron again if, and only if, they all take their talents to South Beach.

  • http://thekobebeef.wordpress.com LDR4

    Maverick Carter has run the worst possible PR for LeBron this summer.

  • hoodsnake

    Its not like the Cavs owner will post a letter on their web page thanking LeBron for the 7 years he gave them…

  • cramzy

    lebron should just chill til opening night

  • http://Slamonline.com Philly

    I never thought lebron was so cold

  • Brian

    Big Z leads, LBJ follows. Fitting.

  • T-Money

    I see that a lot of people don’t WANT to get the full info and just prefer to rant. Oh well.

  • Ronald

    I thought it was classy for him not to go into a verbal war with Gilbert and Cleveland. (Unlike Bosh which just showed how stupid he was, especially when he tweeted about where to go before he actually left) But him not thanking Cleveland along with Akron was kind of a bad move.

  • Hussman25

    Point blank: BOOOOOOOOO THIS MAN! He better never go to Cleveland alone… He’s a marked man and this could have easily been avoided. Just tell the team you wanted to go earlier to allow them to regroup. He did this to himself and keeps putting his foot in his mouth… Great PR people around you “King”


    Blame Dan Gilbert’s passion for winning.

  • ktokyo

    Why didn’t Lebron just take out a full-page ad that said “F*ck You Cleveland”?

  • bill breedley

    Why thank Akron? His hometown gave him nothing. Cleveland made him the supersidekick he has become.

  • bill breedley

    Wonder how Lesidekick will handle being Kobe2002? I say his fragile psyche gives after being booed all of November.

  • http://www.nba.com GP23

    So I guess they wont be retiring his #23 jersey.

  • The D Train

    @hoodsnake’s 10:13 comment…If you worked for a company for seven years, a company that gave you carte blanche to do most of what you wanted, including giving preferential treatment to your friends and associates, then left them without giving any sort of notice, would you expect them to thank you? And lets say that there was a market of available employees that they missed out on a chance to bid on because you never told them you were leaving, would you consider it sh1tty of them to not publicly thank you for the hard work you put in for 6.95 years (don’t know that you can qualify his play in games 5 and 6 as putting in hard work)? Lebron owes Cleveland nothing, just like Cleveland owes him nothing. Like the old Chris Rock joke goes, “You go to a restaurant, you accustomed to eatin’. You leave, you ain’t eatin’ no more. They don’t owe you a steak.”

  • http://www.laumol.nl/weblog Laumol

    Here you can read what The Decisionmaker 2010 had to say: http://media.ohio.com/documents/lebron-ad.pdf

  • http://kb24.com DreXnaW21

    cold as ice

  • T-Money

    @ billbreedley: it’s the other way around. bron would be the player that he is today if he had been drafted by any other team in the nba. on the other hand, he doubled the franchise value and made them relevant. what did the cleveland give him that he would not have had anywhere else? a cavs jersey?

  • http://theurbangriot.com The Nupe

    I wonder if he really thought this would help things. He played in Cleveland not Akron. He left Cleveland Cavs, he still has a home in Akron. Big Z wasn’t from Cleveland but still thanked the fans of that city because that’s where he played – that wasn’t necessary, but was a nice gesture and makes some sense to me to show appreciation for the support he has gotten over the last several years. I just don’t understand why Lebron thought writing a letter to Akron makes any sense or difference. I understand Maverick Carter is his friend, but he needs to fire that dude.

  • http://theurbangriot.com The Nupe

    I wonder if he really thinks this is going to help something. He played in Cleveland, not Akron. He left the Cleveland Cas – he still has a home in Akron. Big Z wasn’t from Cleveland either and still made a nice (not necessary) gesture to thank the fans of cleveland foe the support over the years. It just seems odd to me that a player would write this kind of letter to city X when they actually played in city Y. He doesn’t ‘owe’ either city anything, but it seems that if you are going to make an effort you would make towards the city you actually played in.

  • Ill Will

    I’m a self professed LBJ hater and even I can admit that these constant “something outta nothing” stories on him is getting out of control.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Ryan explained why the letter ran when it did, but folks didn’t want to hear that I guess.
    People are acting like it was simple for Lebron to just tell the Cavs he wasn’t going to sign with them early on. They are ignoring the fact that he hadn’t made up his mind, and in fact tried to recruit Bosh to Cleveland instead of Miami, but failed. It’s as if y’all want to be willfully ignorant of what actually happened in order to justify the decisions you’ve already made. I mean, that’s not surprising, but it is a bit irritating.
    Bron didn’t tell Cleveland early because they would have leaked the news to be vindictive. It wasn’t his fault Cleveland couldn’t sign any other free agents, it ws the team’s fault. Lebron was never going to sign in Cleveland without better talent, and the Cavs failed to convince that talent to sign with them and help entice James to stay. The failure to sign other free agents was solely on the Cavs, and was largely tied to their decisions to acquire Jamison and Williams and their massive contracts.
    The Cavs put all their eggs in one basket, and every child has been warned about that from their mothers, right?

  • T-Money

    Another thing that’s getting overlooked here: top free agents rarely go to non-attractive cities (i.e., cities that are not either huge, cosmopolitan or in warm places). Even the Spurs who’ve been winning as much as anyone besides the Lakers in the last decade or so never banked on free agency to lure top players. They built the team through trades and draft picks. Cleveland failed miserably at both and the top free agents were never going to come to NE Ohio. It’s the sad, cold reality. NBA players really do hate on Cleveland. Chuck called it the mistake by the lake. Forget Chris Bosh, Cleveland couldn’t even get guys like Hakim Warrick to take their money last year, and that was with guaranteed playing time for a contender at a similar salary.

  • http://Slamonline.com Philly

    Prince James could atleast show some Love, but he is a egomaniac mf

  • http://theurbangriot.com The Nupe

    Allenp: You are making a lot of assumptions that LeBron was honest while other people do not believe he was. I don’t think it was a hard decision for him to leave Cleveland and go play with his two friends in Miami. Depending on who you believe, this was put into motion a few years ago or something that they new was going to happen at least a few weeks prior to the official ‘Lecision’ aired. I’m not sure if he ever really tried to recruit Bosh to Cleveland and during his entire career as a Cav, it’s unclear that he ever tried to recruit anybody. Trevor Ariza said that he didn’t go to Cleveland because LeBron wouldn’t committ. Cleveland could have gotten Amare in a trade but it was LeBron who said it was important to him to keep Hickson and then wanted the team to go after Jamison – which it did. Then with LeBron goes to the Heat, he immediately recruits Z, Lowry and met D. Fish at the airport to try to recruit him. He didn’t do any of this as a Cav. The team did everything it could, LeBron didn’t. Now this ad to his ‘fans in Akron’. I understand the timing, he’s trying not to get too much hate during his 1-mile bike ride – that’s fair. It’s also fair to assume he didn’t tell the Cavs because he thought they would leak his decision before his announcement (still doesn’t make it right, but I get it). He could have told the Cavs that he decided to ‘take his talents elsewhere’ and it would still have been a ‘big’ story to find out where he was going. I would like to assume that LeBron was upfront and honest about everything but looking at how his recruiting efforts have changed since leaving and also considering this letter to Akron, it really doesn’t appear that way to me. That’s not ignoring the facts, that’s giving consideration to the facts and to the person himself.

  • Robb

    I don’t think Akron needed that ad because they already know how important they are for Lebron. He has supported the community many times and he’ll keep doing it in the future, but doing that media thing and not mentioning Cleveland was, in my opinion, another dumb move, that’s not how you restore your brand. You’ve got some terrible terrible advisors Lebron.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    From what I’ve seen, all of Lebron’s teammates love him.
    The story about Ariza say that Lebron tried to recruit him, but would not promise that he would re-sign as a free agent to get Ariza to commit. To me, that’s honorable. Lebron didn’t know if he was going to stay, and he wasn’t going to lie and say he did.
    But this conversation happened WHILE LEBRON WAS RECRUITING ARIZA.
    According to the same ESPN article (just google trevor ariza and lebron) Lebron recruited Shaq, and Ron Artest as well.
    So, it appears you either have some faulty information on Lebron’s efforts as a recruiter, or you’re just refusing to acknowledge reality to maintain a certain mindset.
    Which is it?

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    And Lebron has always repped Akron. He’s always maintained a deeper connection to Akron than Cleveland.
    I’m sure if the jersey burning hadn’t occurred he would have taken out an ad for Cleveland, but since it did, I’m not surprised he passed on that.

  • http://theurbangriot.com The Nupe

    Bron didn’t try to recruit Ariza however they had a conversation about it. Actively reaching out to a player and meeting them at an airport etc, is not the same as entertaing a conversation with them. I won’t/don’t say Lebron put no effort into recruiting for cleveland, but he certainly has put in more effort and agressively recruiting for Miami. I haven’t seen anything about Bron recruiting Shaq, I do recall him saying he would love to play with Shaq if possible though. I guess it depends on what your definition of recruiting is. He seems to have been very aggressive in reaching out and contacting players to the Heat, and I don’t recall that same level of effort with Shaq, Ariza, Artest or anyone else. I still like LeBron’s game and think the flack he’s taken is a pretty severe reaction to his decision and how he’s handled things since. I don’t have an established mindset about him and in fact hoping that he finds a way to ‘recover’. This letter to Akron, while ‘nice’, I don’t believe really helped his efforts of re-establishing his brand and I have sincere hope that he finds more professional and seasoned PR people to advise him going forward.

  • T-Money

    The Nupe: you’re playing with words. Everyone seems to agree that Kobe helped recruit Artest and Matt Barnes and he was basically texting them. Bron tried to recruit a lot of guys last summer, no one was willing to come to Cleveland besides J-Moon and AP (Shaq was traded after all).

  • Yesse

    Ohh, come on now. Even though through the jersey burners, singer and people kicking out people from baseball games with LeBron jersey. I’m sure there would be somebody who decided to act civilized during his decision, so yes LeBron should thank Cleveland.

  • T-Money

    And you know what, maybe it’s him that’s not transcendant enough to get FAs to come to an alleged sh-t hole (never been to CLE). Where you play matters to a certain extent. Guys are tripping over themselves playing for Miami in a way that they never would have for Cleveland.

  • JTaylor21

    It is plain to say that no good free agent wants to play in that nuclear test site they call Cleveland.

  • backboard

    @ RYAN JONES: I read your 9:24 comment and i see what you are saying. But wouldnt you say that in the NBA, as a business, its all about politics?

    And as someone who wants to be a world-wide icon, or at least try to maximize his brand popularity, shouldnt Lebron be all about politics?

    I am just saying, he could have also used this opportunity to play it smart and include the CITY – NOT THE TEAM – the city in his thank-you letter. Smooth it over with the fans, get them back. Simple politics man!

    So, my question is: Would it have hurt and wouldnt it have been a wise political decision to include the city of Cleveland?

  • http://www.twitter.com/TheDiesel Anton

    I don’t always betray cities, but when I do – I prefer Cleveland.

  • Izzo

    Are other news stories headline’s also going to include a list of things the subject in the story didn’t mention?

  • Overtime

    @ Bill Breedley: Short-sighted comment man, he lived there for 18 years, learned to play basketball there, won state championship there, was the most hyped high schooler, perhaps ever, there. And he’s been there alot in the last 7 years aswell, so, in short, gave him quite a bit

  • COGGIE13

    is it just me that thinks, maybe he didn’t know himself until when he told the cleveland team, was he not trying to convince the likes of bosh, amare etc to cleveland before he left? the man honoured his contract, he was off contract, therefore he has the right to sign where he pleases. dont hate on the guy for wanting to win. i know personally if i had to choose a team of scrubs or a team of my good friends and all stars i would chose the later, one decision won’t define his career. Lebron and Kobe are still the alpha males of the league. But the sixers are the best in the east…

  • Dre

    Akron is his home… Cleveland fans showed how immature they were burning his jersey. Cleveland is going to make it real bad for themselves if they don’t shut the hell up. They are going to make Lebron go for 50.

  • http://www.kb24.com The Seed

    Thanking Akron and not Cleveland was a douche bag move. Lebron always tried to come off as this nice dude who likes everyone with his cookie cutter comments all the time. Now Lebron is taking to heart what Gilbert and the fans have said to him. So now what Lebron not going to talk to Magic, Larry or MJ because they dissed him. What Lebron is not going to talk to alot of NBA players who feel he punked out. Lebron management team is messing him up, he is sucking up to his own city to make sure everything is fine for the bike race. All he is really doing is making it hard on him with alot of the media folks and fans of basketball. He should have thanked Cleveland and that be it. He is from Akron, but he became a real superstar with a Cavs jersey on. So thank the team that gave you everything and was going to give you a statue in the future. Now you are a SIDEKICK LePippen.

  • http://www.slamonline.com J

    All of this won’t happen if only lebron didn’t choose the TV spectacle and showed respect and class in leaving. And for mandkind’s sake don’t let Maverick Carter handle the PR thing..

  • Lawless66007

    Apparently LeBron/Miami fans have comprehension problems. Ya’ll keep thinking that we burned his jersey because he left Cleveland. How more clearly do you need it? WE AREN’T MAD THAT HE LEFT. WE ARE MAD AT HOW HE LEFT CLEVELAND! He held a long television show just to tell the world that he was leaving, knowing how bad that would make us look. But it backfired on him and he embarrassed himself. But what is funny to me is that ya’ll call us “classless” and “unworthy” because of a few jerseys being burned, FOR A HOMETOWN PLAYER, at the brink of a championship, but ya’ll talk about us like we came down and personally slapped ya’ll mamma. What did Cleveland do to you? Ya’ll got who ya’ll wanted, why is there so much hate for Cleveland now? I’ve seen nothing but insults and joneses on Cleveland it’s not even funny and WE’RE the ones that need the sympathy. Cleveland CLASSLESS??? Please.

  • http://theurbangriot.com The Nupe

    @Lawless66007: You’re right. People have been putting Cleveland down a lot since LBJ announcement. It’s funny how some people who have either never been to the city try to judge the people from there. In all the news clips I saw, there were only a handfull of Jerseys actually burned, but people are making it seem like everybody in Cleveland was burning jerseys – and that’s just not true. It’s sad to me that there seems to be a perception that the people of Cleveland are ‘bad’, where in fact most are just sad to see thier hometown hero leave and/or are angry about how he did it. But over 99.999% of the people of Clevealnd did NOT burn anything related to LeBron. I’ve spent a lot of time in Cleveland and actually really like the city, I’d rather be there than many other basketball cities (e.g. det, ind, minn, portland) but for some reason it seems that people want to really kick Cleveland. I don’t get it, a FEW jerseys were burned (for the television cameras) and now a lot of folks want to judge based on so little information. All I can say is keep your heads up and continue to support your teams, yall are alright in my book.

  • http://theurbangriot.com The Nupe

    Antoher quick thought, LeBron doesn’t even live in Akron anymore. He moved to Bath Twp. at least a few years ago. Not to be technical but saying Akron is his home is just not true. I get he doesn’t want to call Cleveland his ‘hometown’ since his hometown is Akron, but if he’s going to split hairs about not being from Cleveland, then the same hairs should be split that he doesn’t live in Akron.