Akron, OHIO - Akron residents are welcoming back LeBron James to Northeast Ohio with the same attitude that they had when their hometown hero left four years ago.
“He's from Akron, he's one of ours,” said Tony Sutton, an Akron police officer who patrols the city’s west side where LeBron grew up. “We're going to support him wherever he goes.”
“We accepted it, we wanted what was best for him,” said Adam Revesz, a waiter at Swenson’s, an Akron burger restaurant that LeBron frequents. “At the time, we feel like he did what he had to do down in South Beach.”
Akron residents say they largely had supported LeBron’s decision to go to Miami – a far cray to the anger that Clevelanders felt. Now they’re supporting his return.
“We couldn’t be more thrilled that the King has returned to his throne,” said Revesz.
“I’m happy he’s coming back,” said Camirage Hill, an Akron resident.
Hill, who is 14 years old, is a big LeBron fan and has rooted for LeBron all along, even when he left for Miami.
“I was happy,” said Hill. “He got to go win championships.”
Marquis Flynn is such a LeBron supporter that he said he would have been okay if his idol stayed in Miami to win one more championship. But, he said he’s excited to welcome LeBron back.
The love for LeBron is reverberating all over Akron.
“We just want to embrace our prodigal son and welcome him back to the 330,” said Reservz.