NILES, Ohio (WKBN) – Cleveland Cavaliers fans all across Northeast Ohio and here in the Valley are rejoicing that LeBron James finally is coming home.
His Sports Illustrated essay spread like wildfire over social media Friday afternoon, ending weeks of speculation about whether the Akron native would return to Cleveland.
“I think it is a great move by LeBron coming back home. He always said he wanted to finish his career out there and stuff. Great move,” Tevin Mitchell of Niles said.
“I think it is a good thing for Cleveland. A lot of talent. I believe Cleveland needs a little inspiration at the moment,” Eric Johnson of Niles said.
Fans said they can forgive James for leaving for Miami four years ago and many already were scouting for tickets for next season.
“Yeah, I am trying to get tickets right now as we speak. I am texting people trying to get some tickets. I am excited,” Jermaine Cornelius of Niles said.
“Before I die, I would like to see Cleveland win a championship of any kind, so I am kind of glad to see LeBron coming back. It will be fun and it will be good for Cleveland. They deserve it,” Mike Adler of Liberty said.
But it is not just Cavs fans that are excited about James’ return. It also is expected to provide a shot in the arm to some local businesses.
At Sports Obsession at the Eastwood Mall, owners were waiting anxiously for James to decide before printing up shirts to celebrate the event. Now they plan to create t-shirts with catchy phrases.
“The other thing they are going to want to do is put their names down to order jerseys because we saw on TV people burning their jerseys, so they are going to have to come back and buy new jerseys,” Sports Obsession owner Scott Jones said.
Managers at Buffalo Wild Wings said they also expect basketball season to pick up in the restaurant. They said business dropped off four years ago after James left.
“The only interest we get to drum up for the Cavs games, not the only interest, but for the most part, is when they play the Heat, everybody rooting for them to beat LeBron. Now it’s going to be great to have that excitement back that we used to before the decision,” Buffalo Wild Wings Regional Manager Doug Esenwein said.
“It’s so exciting for the fans of Cleveland. He is really delivering on his promise. He said he would bring a championship to Cleveland. He is going to do it now,” Niles Buffalo Wild Wings manager and Cavs fan Jerry Vanditti said.