LeBron James Is 'Going Home' to Cleveland: Hollywood, White House Reacts
The most anticipated announcement in sports since LeBron James made The Decision in 2010 live on ESPN captured the nation on Friday when Sports Illustrated broke the news that he was returning to the Cleveland Cavaliers.
The revelation that the Miami Heat's "Big Three" was no more even interrupted a White House news conference, as reporters asked press secretary Josh Earnest how President Barack Obama felt about the move.
"The president is a big fan of LeBron's, he is like many of us … even those of are not quite as avid NBA fans, he is a fan of somebody who has demonstrated such skill and athleticism on the court, and the president enjoys watching him play," Earnest told reporters.
"He is a fine young man who carries the kind of professionalism that is really impressive to see.
"The fact that he’s made this decision I think is a testament to the kind of values that he has incorporated into his life and that he says he’s interested in instilling in his children," he said. "So I think it’s a pretty powerful statement about the value of a place that you consider home," he added.
Watch video below of Earnest expressing Obama's fandom.
The news sparked parties all over Cleveland, with WKNR radio station breaking out in an uproar of cheers when Lee Jenkins' exclusive essay from James hit SI.com at 12.13 p.m. ET.
"My relationship with Northeast Ohio is bigger than basketball. I didn’t realize that four years ago. I do now," wrote LeBron, who won two NBA championships with the Heat.
While four years ago, Cavaliers fans were burning their jerseys in the streets when LeBron announced he was going to the Miami Heat, they are all delighting in his return as DJs blasted "Ain't No Stoppin' Us Now" over the air.
Twitter was quick to explode with responses, comments and colorful memes about the return of the King.
Cleveland's newest addition Johnny "Football" Manziel was ready to get the party started.
While Browns teammate Brian Hoyer credited James' shout out to their state.
Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson lamented that his city didn't have an NBA team anymore.
Veteran sportswriter Chris Sheridan had vouched his reputation on the prediction that James was returning to Cleveland, and while he didn't break the story — he breathed a sigh of release.
Have to admit source of @SI_LeeJenkins a tad more solid than ours— Chris Sheridan (@sheridanhoops) July 11, 2014
@clevelanddotcom celebrated the return of the King to "Northeast Ohio."
LeBron James' return: Saturday's front page of The Plain Dealer pic.twitter.com/h8KFb6UAPX— clevelanddotcom (@clevelanddotcom) July 11, 2014
Cleveland native Drew Carey said it was "time to un-burn" the jerseys.
Been out of range. Just heard the news about @KingJames. Time to un-burn those jerseys! :)— Drew Carey (@DrewFromTV) July 11, 2014
Magic Johnson is already predicting the new "Big Three."
LeBron James, Kyrie Irving and Andrew Wiggins have the potential to be a great "Big 3".— Earvin Magic Johnson (@MagicJohnson) July 11, 2014
As did legendary broadcaster Dick Vitale.
Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert — who wrote an open letter to fans scathing James in 2010 — made his son happy.
My 8-year-old: "Daddy, does this mean I can finally wear my Lebron jersey, again?"...Yes it does, son. Yes it does!— Dan Gilbert (@cavsdan) July 11, 2014
NBA Countdown host Sage Steele said she loved the move, as "the kid comes home."
Gotta say-love the DECISION made by @KingJames. As a fan of the world's best player-I hope he gets it done.The kid comes home. What a story.— Sage Steele (@sagesteele) July 11, 2014
Actor and sports fanatic Michael. B Jordan was happy too.
While U.S. soccer star Jozy Altidore wished him luck.
Can't blame a man for wanting to return home to play. Wish nothing but the best to @KingJames !!— Jozy Altidore (@JozyAltidore) July 11, 2014
ESPN's Stuart Scott reiterated the importance of going back to your roots.
He went home. Simple as that. HOME is your heart. Can't blame or fault the guy. Congrats & respect @KingJames— Stuart Scott (@StuartScott) July 11, 2014
ESPN's SportsCenter announced the "Return of the King."
While NFL.com paired up two of Cleveland's finest.
ESPN soccer analyst Taylor Twellman noted the irony of the announcement.
As usual, LeBron said it best himself with this powerful photo in a Cavaliers jersey.