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Clevelanders ready to welcome back LeBron

Friday, July 11, 2014 at 5:27 PM

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In announcing his decision to return to Cleveland, LeBron James wrote a conciliatory message – clearly aimed at Northeast Ohio, where he made fans furious when he left for Miami. James wrote, “My relationship with Northeast Ohio is bigger than basketball. I didn’t realize that four years ago. I do now.” ideastream reporter Joanna Richards collected this reaction from fans.

Cleveland seems ready to welcome back LeBron James – largely because of how he explained his decision.

Tim Osborne, from Lakewood, was dining with friends today at Harry Buffalo, a sports bar right outside Quicken Loans Arena. He compared James’ words in Sports Illustrated today with his own decision to come back to the region after college.

“It’s a sense of loyalty, a sense of family, being from Northeast Ohio,” Osborne said. “That, for me, is the biggest thing. He left in the worst way possible; he couldn’t have come back in a better way.”

Other sports fans echoed Osborne, saying James’ essay went a long way toward healing old wounds.

But some are less concerned with the drama of heartbreak and forgiveness. Mike Sheppard wants results.

“We’re gonna win not one, not two, not three, not four, not five, not six, not seven, not eight championships. Okay?” Sheppard explained. “We’re gonna beat Michael Jordan – he’s got six. LeBron’s got two already, but we’re gonna win a lot here.”

No pressure, LeBron.

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