NBA superstar LeBron James recently reminded fans of what he considers his real hometown, after taking out a full-page newspaper ad in The Akron Beacon Journal.
In the ad, he thanked the residents of Akron for always showing him support—without mentioning the city of Cleveland, where he played for seven years.
“Akron is my home, and the central focus of my life. It’s where I started, and it’s where I will always come back to,” James explained in the ad. “You can be sure that I will continue to do everything I can for this city, which is so important to my family and me. Thank you for your love and support. You mean everything to me.”
LeBron took much criticism from residents of Cleveland after he opted out of the final year of his contract with the Cleveland Cavaliers to sign with the Miami Heat. Even Cavs owner Dan Gilbert criticized James in a letter on the team Web site, calling James’ decision “cowardly betrayal”.
Cleveland residents vented their frustration both online and in the streets, and some news reports claimed fans even set cars on fire after James announced his signing with Miami in July.