The NBA has been without games played for two weeks now, and Thursday night would have marked LBJ's return to Cleveland to take on the Cavaliers. The Lakers won't be playing that game at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse anytime soon due to the outbreak of coronavirus, but that didn't stop King James from paying homage to his hometown on this otherwise quiet day.
Thursday would have been the 35-year-old's 18th game suiting up against Cleveland in his pro career, and his fourth time since leaving the Cavs a second time in 2018.
James was drafted by Cleveland out of high school, Akron's St. Vincent-St. Mary, in 2003, and quickly developed into one of the best all-around, generational talents in NBA history. LBJ ditched the Cavs for the Heat from 2010 to 2014, but returned to Cleveland for four more seasons with one goal on his mind: to bring his city a championship.
The Cavaliers defied all odds and came back from down 3-1 to beat the Golden State Warriors in the 2016 NBA Finals, and James poured in one his most complete efforts to make it happen. LBJ averaged 29.7 points, 11.3 rebounds, 8.9 assists, 2.6 steals and 2.3 blocks per game throughout the series, as Cleveland won its first pro championship in 52 years. James will always be remembered by Cavs fans as an unquestioned hometown hero.