But that wasn’t always the case.
In fact, there was a time when fans of the Cavs positively despised James and would boo loudly at the very mention of his name.
12 YEARS AGO TODAY 👑
LeBron put on a show in his 1st return to Cleveland after "The Decision."
38 PTS (24 in 3rd)
The Cavs starting 5: 28 PTS pic.twitter.com/YiBPWmxVwX
— Ballislife.com (@Ballislife) December 2, 2022
Friday is the 12-year anniversary of James’ first game back in Cleveland after his infamous “Decision.”
For those who don’t know, “The Decision” was when James had a sit-down prime-time interview to reveal that he was leaving his rookie team, the Cavaliers, to head to Florida and play for the Miami Heat.
Months later on December 2, James was back in Cleveland playing for this new team – and Cavaliers fans were not happy.
James reminded the fans how special he was with 38 points (24 of which was in the third quarter), 8 assists, and 5 rebounds.
He was 15-of-25 in just 30 minutes and did all of this as the Cavs’ starting five had just 28 points.
A lot of time has passed since then and the view of James has changed considerably.
Practically every bad name in the book was hurled at James following his departure from the Cavs to the Heat.
But a few years later, James would be welcomed back when he decided to return to his hometown team.
It was then that James helped the team win their first NBA championship and he was again considered a hero and an important part of the team’s legacy.
There has been some talk of James returning to Cleveland one more time and playing for the Cavs again before he retires.
But given how great the team has been lately without him, that frankly doesn’t seem necessary.