CLEVELAND | LeBron welcomed back as hero in return to Cleveland

CLEVELAND — LeBron James got a hero’s welcome at home.

The three-time NBA champion received a rousing standing ovation during player introductions Wednesday night as he made his first appearance in Cleveland since signing with the Los Angeles Lakers last summer.

James, who spent 11 seasons in two stints with the Cavs and led them to the 2016 title, was then saluted with a video tribute during a timeout in the first quarter. Images of James’ playing days with Cleveland were shown along with clips of his impact on the community in Northeast Ohio.

As the crowd stood and cheered, “Thank You LeBron” was shown on the giant scoreboard. James pointed to all corners of Quicken Loans Arena in appreciation.

The heartwarming warm scene was nothing like what James endured upon his return with Miami in 2010, when Cleveland fans turned their anger on him for leaving.

By TOM WITHERS , Associated Press