LeBron James is one of the last great things Cleveland sports ever had, so it stands to reason the fans would still be a bit bitter about his departure. James' return wasn't about them though. It was about being there for a friend.
The MVP made an appearance at the Quicken Loans Arena to see the Cavaliers retire Zydrunas Ilgauskas' jersey. The center played for 14 seasons with Cleveland and holds franchise records in games played, rebounds, and blocks.
Ilgauskas was actually the one to extend an invitation to James according to The Plain Dealer:
But him being here is an added bonus for me because of what we've been through together. I consider him a dear friend, and we played so much, achieved so much, failed many times but also were successful a lot of times. For me, it would have been almost a detraction if he wasn't here. Now that he was able to witness that made it so much more special,"
James also paid tribute to his friend and former teammate with an Instagram post: "Words can't express how happy I am for u today! My truly good friend getting his jersey lifted into the rafters tonight," he says in the post. "I appreciate everything Big Z and you deserve this more than anyone I know!"
On a side note, anybody thought Dan Gilbert was throwing subs at James during his speech? "[The jersey retirement] represents the concept of never, ever, ever, ever giving up. Ever." So much emphasis.
[via For The Win]