View pictures from WEWS photographers and submitted by our fans of the Welcome Home rally for LeBron James in Akron.
AKRON, Ohio - LeBron James is returning home. Probably not for good, but at least for Thanksgiving.
After he squares off against his former teammates Wednesday in the Q, he'll host his current Miami Heat teammates for Thanksgiving dinner in his (enormous) Akron-area home, the Cleveland Scene says .
That's because the Heat will be on the road for the holidays, far from South Beach.
As Dwyane Wade told ESPN.com , "And it's a very nice home that we're going to, so I'll make sure I'll put on the right clothes and the right socks, gotta-take-your-shoes-off-at-the-door type of house."
He's not kidding. At a reported 30,000 square feet, according to the Akron Beacon Journal , LeBron's home should be comfy, even for a whole team of NBA players. If need be, maybe they can stay in his garage, which is nearly 7,000 square feet itself.
Wednesday morning, King James posted a photo on Instagram of his huge snow-capped back yard. Or front yard. Or side yard. Who knows? It's a big place.
If the holiday layover in Akron isn't enough to get him to consider a return to Cleveland when he becomes a free agent in 2014, the four guys behind "Come Home LeBron" hope massive fan support will.
They told the Beacon Journal inspiration struck when they saw James Blair, who wore a "We miss you, come back 2014" shirt as he sprinted on the court to greet LeBron during the Heat's visit in 2012. That's why Josh Raggi and his partners decided to show LeBron "not everyone in Northeast Ohio hates him."
Which should explain the 2,000 bright green "Come Home LeBron" shirts they're giving out before Wednesday's nationally televised game at the Q.
If the effort, which Raggi says is just beginning, fails, then Akronites and Clevelanders homesick for LeBron should consider buying some new kicks ...er, shoes.
On December 7, for $200, you can buy the NIKE LEBRON 11: Akron vs. Miami sneakers, so-called for the color scheme apparently intended to honor both cities, kicksonfire.com says .
Nike says, "Shades of blue represent Akron's working-class, blue-collar roots, while pink accents symbolize the city he currently calls home."
If he's putting that kind of thought into his new shoes, imagine what of northeast Ohio will appear on LeBron's sitcom, which he's developing for the Starz Network .
The show would be called "Survivor's Remorse" and though it won't be set in Akron or based directly on his life, it is inspired by how he overcame obstacles to find success and what happens when a star leaves behind the hard-knock area of his birth.
And if it's hard to think of LeBron James as an underdog, research reported by the New York Times says you're wrong. Born to a 16-year-old single mother, King James had a lot more to overcome just to make it to the league than does the average NBA player.
Appropriately, as Thanksgiving nears, the superstar clearly seems grateful for his success, spreading his good fortune around—often to his alma mater, Akron's St. Vincent-St. Mary High School.
Earlier this month, the LeBron James Family Foundation hosted 120 student-athletes for dinner and the presentation of "brand new, fitted Nike uniforms" for the school's winter sports teams, according to a foundation news release .
It may end up being nothing more than a holiday dinner, some thoughtful shoes, several new uniforms and a TV show. But the hope for LeBron James to come home isn't unreasonable, if only because it seems he never really left.
Unless, of course, by "come home" you only mean you want him to play for the Cavs again and win an NBA title for Cleveland. Yeah, that's a different matter altogether.
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