LeBron James' 'devastating' return to Cleveland

The polarizing hoops superstar returned home to a deafening chorus of boos. He answered his critics with a stellar performance

Fans may have booed but LeBron James' made an stellar return to Cleveland.
(Image credit: Getty)

The video: Lebron James walked into a packed Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland on Thursday playing an unfamiliar role: The arch-villain. For seven years, James, who grew up in nearby Akron, carried the once-woeful Cleveland Cavaliers on his back, racking up accolades and bringing the team within shouting distance of a National Basketball Association title. But last summer, he broke the city's collective heart by announcing his decision to bolt to the Miami Heat. As James returned to the floor in Cleveland, he was booed with "lusty passion" and showered with obscenities. James proceeded to remind fans why they were so upset about his departure, scoring 38 points in a dominant performance that helped carry the Heat to a 118-90 blowout win.

The reaction: "I thought [James] would be freaked out by the security guards ominously flanking the Heat bench, and maybe even by news that they were serving fans beverages in paper cups as a safety precaution," says Bill Simmons in ESPN. Instead, he played "some of the best basketball of his career," including a "devastating" 27-minute stretch in which he scored 36 points and "reestablished Miami as a contender." Before James' return to Cleveland, says says Dan Devine in Yahoo! Sports, we had only glimpsed a "thumbnail sketch of the true scope of his talent" this season. But when you watch him "blow past defenders," it's a reminder that he is an "amalgamation of basketball talents unlike anything we'd ever seen." Below, watch Lebron James' not-so-warm welcome home:

Subscribe to The Week

Escape your echo chamber. Get the facts behind the news, plus analysis from multiple perspectives.


Sign up for The Week's Free Newsletters

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

Sign up
To continue reading this article...
Continue reading this article and get limited website access each month.
Get unlimited website access, exclusive newsletters plus much more.
Cancel or pause at any time.
Already a subscriber to The Week?
Not sure which email you used for your subscription? Contact us