I have often told friends, and various media outlets around the country, that Akron and Cleveland, while separated by 30+ miles, are not the same. Many people who grew up in Akron do not look favorable upon Cleveland, for whatever reason. It was a secret fear of mine that when push came to shove, Cleveland was never considered 'home' by LeBron James, before or during his playing career.
Perhaps that is the reason James made no mention of City of Cleveland or the fans that supported him the past 7 years in the full-page ad he took out in the Akron Beacon Journal.
The text of the ad is below:
To My Family, Friends and Fans in Akron:
"For all my life, I have lived in Akron -- and for that, I am truly a lucky man.
"It was here where I first learned how to play basketball, and where I met the people who would become my lifelong friends and mentors. Their guidance, encouragement and support will always be with me.
"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. 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."
Ironically, the ad comes out just 5 days before LeBron's Annual Bike-a-thon, though the event has been scaled down this year, and two days after Zydrunas Ilgauskas placed his own ad thanking the fans of Cleveland.