LeBron James has some advice for Tom Brady: Quiet the crowd.
Back in 2010, James returned to Cleveland (for the first time) after leaving the Cavaliers for the Heat in free agency. He went off for 38 points and Miami demolished James' former club.
James joined ESPN's Monday Night Football broadcast featuring Peyton and Eli Manning and was asked about how Brady might handle going back to Foxboro for the first time since joining the Bucs in free agency.
"Oh man," James said. "I remember that day like it was yesterday. Dec. 2, 2010. It was rough. I got no sleep the night before. I already knew the adversity and how crazy it was going to be ...
"I know Tom's done so many great things down there in Foxboro, down there with the Patriots. But they're gonna root for who they root for, and you know they root for the Pats. It can get real ugly. You gotta go in there and quiet the crowd like I was able to do that night of Dec. 2, 2010."
It probably won't be as ugly for Brady as it was for James, though. Fans burned his jersey when he left his hometown team to create a "super team" in Miami with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh. They booed him relentlessly upon his return and chanted, "Akron hates you."
Brady isn't expecting a homecoming in New England, he said, but he's probably not expecting to be jeered the way James was following his televised "The Decision" betrayal, either. And he shouldn't be. The circumstances are far different. Even Patriots captain Matthew Slater, who played with Brady for 12 years, suggested Brady should be celebrated to a degree. "A lot of the conversation this week is going to be about Thomas’ return, and to an extent it should be," Slater said Monday. "He should be celebrated. But for us, who are competing on Sunday, it should be about our preparation, it should be about focus, and it should be about going out and playing good, winning football, regardless of who we’re playing this week."