- Report: LaMelo Ball has no plans to meet with Cavs ahead of 2020 NBA Draft
- J.R. Smith annihilates Olivia Harlan Dekker, insinuates husband uses N-bombs
- Sam Dekker’s wife agrees that J.R. Smith amongst ‘dumbest people on planet’
- Sam Dekker issues strong response to J.R. Smith’s accusation that he supports Donald Trump
- Report: Cavs to hold pre-draft workouts for Obi Toppin, other top prospects this week
- J.R. Smith says former Cavs swingman was only teammate he couldn’t ‘stand’ in entire NBA career
- Report: J.B. Bickerstaff reveals ‘positive’ conversations with Andre Drummond about future with Cavs
- Skip Bayless makes strong argument why he would take 2016 Cavs over 2020 Lakers
- LeBron James gets ‘chills’ rewatching Cavs’ historic NBA Finals win over Warriors
- Andre Drummond hints at working towards major evolution in his game
George Hill on LeBron’s Return: ‘If You Boo Him, You’re an Asshole’
- Updated: November 20, 2018
With former Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James set to play his first game in Cleveland since leaving in free agency, his former teammate George Hill spoke about the potential reaction connected to that return. In no uncertain terms, Hill indicated that any negative attitude would be more of a reflection of an individual fan than of James.
Jason Lloyd of The Athletic looked at a variety of topics concerning the team, including James’ first game at Quicken Loans Arena since announcing his decision to join the Los Angeles Lakers. He quoted Hill’s blunt commentary about the possibility of James getting booed:
“If you boo him, you’re an asshole. He just means too much to this city, to this organization.”
Hill’s comment stems from the memory of the angry reaction of fans in December 2010, when James returned to Cleveland for the first time after having joined the Miami Heat. Deep bitterness about the veteran’s departure at that time resulted in a game-long cascade of boos and commentary directed at James.
Lloyd explains the rationale for Hill’s comments:
“Hill has no animosity toward James for leaving. He deeply admires what James has accomplished both on and off the court and believes what he has done for kids in Akron — from his I Promise School to his agreement with the University of Akron to provide scholarships to his foundation kids who qualify — separates him from his contemporaries like Kobe Bryant and Michael Jordan.”
Despite Hill’s concern for how James will be received, it’s been clear that the situation will be much different than it was eight years ago. At that time, James received heavy criticism from all corners for making his announcement in a made-for-TV spectacle. This past July, he simply released a brief statement that included thanks to the team and the Cavaliers’ fan base.
Of course, the chief reason why the reaction to James will be more positive is because he helped deliver the franchise’s first NBA title in 2016. That permanently changed his legacy among the fans and organization.
In the latter case, the Cavaliers will be showing a tribute video that will recognize James’ contributions during his 11 seasons in a Cleveland uniform. One or more standing ovations from the fans is also a strong likelihood, with any negative reaction likely to be drowned out.