(AKRON, Ohio) — LeBron James was back in Cleveland Saturday night as James’ Los Angeles Lakers defeated his former team, the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Still, the Cavaliers paid tribute to the Los Angeles Lakers forward who in February set the record for most career points in NBA history, toppling Hall of Famer and fellow Laker Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.
“It’s very special. To be a kid of Akron, I grew up 30 miles south of here and to be able to be drafted here and spend my first seven years here and then come back for four more years and do some special things that the franchise had never seen,” James said. “When I [was] drafted, I said, I wanted to [light] this place up like Vegas, so I feel I did a decent job of doing that while I was here for my 11 years.”
The nostalgic tribute came as James reached another milestone: The LeBron James Family Foundation opened the LeBron James museum, named LeBron James’ Home Court, in Akron, Ohio, on Saturday. The museum offers a glimpse into the life and career of the perennial NBA all-star. James hosted his Lakers teammates at the museum for a walkthrough of the exhibition.
In the heart of James’ hometown, museumgoers will first embark on an immersive multimedia experience where they will enter a recreation of James’ childhood apartment in the Spring Hill neighborhood of Akron. The room will be furnished with items from the 20-year NBA veteran’s past.
As fans continue through the exhibit, iconic jerseys from James’ career are on display including James’ McDonald’s All-American jersey, once donned by a high school James as he captured the country’s attention as America’s top talent. Further inside is the all-white suit James wore at the 2003 draft, where he was chosen by his hometown team, the Cleveland Cavaliers, as the No. 1 overall pick.
Fans of James will then follow the burgeoning star through his early playing days on the Cavs and to his highly publicized decision to sign with the Miami Heat. Through multimedia and game-worn sneakers and apparel, visitors will relive the championships he has won in South Beach, Cleveland and Los Angeles.
Guests will also be taken through James’ off-the-court efforts to give back to his community. The exhibit will feature a timeline of his foundation’s evolution from a Bike-A-thon in 2009 to the launch of his I PROMISE education program in 2018.
All ticket proceeds will go straight back into his foundation, where it will be distributed to I PROMISE students, parents, educators and family members, the Lebron James Family Foundation said.
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