LeBron James will return to Miami for the first time since leaving the Heat for the Cavaliers when the teams meet Christmas day.
How will and should Heat fans receive LeBron?
Dwyane Wade, who remains close with LeBron, via Ethan Skolnick of Bleacher Report:
“It’s going to be a mixture,” Wade said. “How I think he should be received is a little different. The man helped take us to places we’ve only been once before he got here. So I think he should be received very well for that at the start of the game. And then when the game comes on, then do what you’ve got to do (as fans).”
“At the end of the day, the guy is an amazing basketball player and everyone is a fan of the game,” Wade said. “So ‘oohs and ahhs,’ they come before boos sometimes. I hope our fans are just appreciative of what he brought to this organization in four years.”
From the top down – owner Micky Arison, president Pat Riley and Wade – the Heat organization handled LeBron’s exit with class. Not every fan followed suit, but it seems most have.
Wade is definitely correct: LeBron will receive a mixture of cheers and boos. Which will be louder? I’d guess the cheers. LeBron aced the PR of returning to Cleveland, and that will make it difficult for even Heat fans to boo him. Some surely will, but I bet most follow Wade’s cue.