Smack / Aug 3, 2010 / 2:36 am

Thank Us Later: LeBron’s letter to Akron ignores Cleveland

Timing is everything. LeBron James bought a full-page ad in the Akron Beacon Journal, thanking his hometown fans, friends and family. “For all my life, I have lived in Akron — and for that, I am truly a lucky man,” the ad reads. “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.” During the same week where LeBron will have his annual Bike-a-Thon and give out 400 free bikes in Akron, it was a great gesture. Except … (1) The ad came two days after Zydrunas Ilgauskas took out a full-pager in the Cleveland Plain-Dealer thanking Cavs fans for 14 years of support, so to some it looks like LeBron just realized what he should have done in the first place and is copying Z, and (2) Notice how he never mentions Cleveland and keeps it strictly dedicated to his actual hometown, where the reaction to LBJ’s switching teams hasn’t been as vicious as that in Cleveland … Hakeem Olajuwon is becoming the NBA’s most sought-after coach. And if you watched his recent appearance on “Pros vs. Joes,” you know why. Even at 47 years old, The Dream could probably still go out there for a few minutes on an NBA court and get buckets. His moves and footwork are just as sharp as they ever were, even if he’s slowed down physically. After Kobe famously re-tooled his low-post game last summer thanks to Hakeem’s help, now Dwight Howard is the latest pupil. Word out of Houston is that Dwight looks nice, too. “All the things we worked on, he was just wondering why I never used those things in a game,” Dwight told Yahoo! Sports. “He saw all the things that I could do, and he was very impressed. He said that I cannot be afraid to do all these things.” For years everyone has been saying that if Dwight gets some post moves he’ll be a beast, but now it might actually happen … Little-known fact: The Miami Heat have had a long-standing ban on players wearing headbands. Well-known fact: They’re gonna pretend like there never was a rule when it comes to LeBron. Although Rafer Alston and Q-Rich dropped their headbands when they got to Miami, it’s not just a LeBron-specific breach; Jermaine O’Neal used to regularly wear headbands during his time with the team. Then again, he had a lot of forehead that needed to be covered … Every NBA player on a contending team has an opinion about the Heat. Kendrick Perkins shared his with Dime’s Austin Burton yesterday: “It’s gonna be a hard challenge for (Miami),” Perk said. “It’s easy to get all those guys on one team, but to vibe in the same system is another thing. Who’s gonna make the extra pass? Who’s gonna make the defensive plays? This is a grown-man’s league, and other teams are getting better, too. So you know that night in and night out, guys are gonna attack them.” Read the rest of Perk’s exclusive Q&A here … The field is getting a little stronger going into the World Championship: Luis Scola confirmed he will play for Argentina (there was some question since he’d been a free agent), and Britain is getting Luol Deng on its roster. Ben Gordon still won’t suit up for GB, however, and unless Michael Olowokandi finally figured out how to tap into his beastly ways from the University of Pacific, odds are Britain isn’t making much noise in the tourney … Meanwhile, even the coaches are bowing out now for Team USA. Assistant Mike D’Antoni won’t make the trip to Turkey due to a back injury. (If Coach K needs another “offensive coordinator,” Nellie is available.) Hopefully he recovers in time for the Knicks to carry him off the court when they win the 2011 NBA championship. Oh wait … We’re out like Kandi Man …

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  • D.I. Dollar


  • YW

    Big Z is a class act

  • darkdefender

    I can’t wait for the NBA schedule to be released. Miami v Cleveland (in Cleveland) is at the top of my must-watch list.

  • quest???

    Look out for Puerto Rico in the World Championships. No offense, but don’t believe the hype on Argentina.

  • quest???

    PR has this kid named Nathan Peavy, man can he play.

  • spit hot fiyah

    The Miami Have? proof reading


    no nothing news at the dime office again.

  • alf (from melmak)

    I love the fact that Hakeem Olajuwon is teaching superstars and getting actual results. Makes me wonder why Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has not passed on that sky hook to another player. With the right height and wingspan, that sky hook as shown by Kareem is unstoppable.

    Utah has been enforcing that no headband rule way longer than Miami. Same with the tucked in uniform at all times rule.

    Top 100 reasons why Dime should hire me as one of its regular writers.

    64. I can bounce back from any adversity.

  • welcome back to reality

    Lebron’s ad just strikes me as ingenuine especially since z just did it a day earlier.

  • Stunnaboy09

    Wow, why does LeBrpn still hire these fools? Big Z did that shit ONE DAY BEFORE. Talk about fake sympathy. The only reason hes doing this is because of his annual Akron bike ride. He better hire some top notch security.

    Hakeem si one of my countries few bright spots and love to see him, helping his fellow big men out. Dwight with post moves and decent FT% adds up into one scary guy and he may afrt out an MVP season before you know it.

  • http://luckylester.com luckylester

    i think it’s hilarious that people give the dime crew shit for there being no news in the NBA – guys, i think the fact that you smack 365 days a year is pretty impressive, even if you have to crawl through a handful of summer days where you’re making news out of nothing – shoot, days like this are probably the most impressive. keep doin’ what you’re doin’!

  • gilford22

    “Jermaine O’Neal used to regularly wear headbands during his time with the team. Then again, he had a lot of forehead that needed to be covered”


  • fLaVa

    @ luckylester

    i just checked out ur site.. its pretty cool…
    do u do anything for fantasy basketball?

  • shiptar

    come on Dime, Great Britain didn’t even qualify for the World Championships. They are trying to qualify for the European championships 2011 with the other c-list national teams this summer.

  • Diggity Dave

    I’d love to see the Heat in Cleveland for the opener. Cavs lose by 64. Go Heat!

  • Robmo35

    So Jermaine O’Neal and Lebron have something in common. Bron’s going to look like Clyde Drexler by 28

  • fallinup

    Timing is everything. Fact of the matter is, Bron coulda did this “I’ll miss you” letter anytime now. I’m actually surprised he didn’t. Damn his PR firm is plain clueless.

    fallinup is out to go learn about his jewish roots regardless of the fact that I could have done this anytime in my life… but just decide to do it now that I’m living in ‘Himey town’.

  • Mike Mihalow

    So Z’s article gets a jpeg that doesn’t open, but LeBron’s gets quoted and put on top?
    I know you guys admit he just copied Z, but you gave much more attention to his BS article.

  • http://www.cnnsi.com JAY

    @ #18 nike Mihalow


  • pipdaddyy

    Deng had 32 pts in Euro qualifying yesterday, after not even practicing with his team before. Pops Mensah-Bonsu also looked good :)

  • oo wee

    from reading that dwight interview it seems like dwight’s offensive game is going to suck again this year. he said he hasn’t had time to work on his game due to all the other bs he’s involved in.

    it’s weird that the media hasnt picked up on this (or not since i’m an nba junkie), but dwight doesn’t sound committed enough to his game. If he’s not practicing hard to learn those post moves really well then it’s obviously not going to translate over to games.

    sorry magic fans, but dwight isn’t the guy to bring u a chip. atleast not now.

  • KnicksFan

    James needs better PR people…its sad how they’ve handled it all.

  • Ian

    hey to the ones that get nba elite 11 this year will get a free download of nba jam

  • mess

    “The Miami Have have…”?

  • it aint easy being green

    according to the boston globe, the nba opener will be heat vs celtics!!!!!!

  • Dagger

    The newspaper thing seems to have been timed to coincide with Lebron’s charity bike event this week in Akron. After the jersey burning, Gilbert’s letter and more I doubt Lebron feels any real compulsion to reach out to Cleveland fans.

  • IGP

    @luckylester…I agree, keep it up Dime. Even with a slow news day, I know you will put up some article for us to debate or at least a sweet top 5 list.

  • Axis

    For me, Dwight Howard is just the ultimate sidekick.

  • http://luckylester.com luckylester

    @ fLaVa: I haven’t done much with NBA Fantasy, it just doesn’t have as many followers – but I was thinking about getting some stuff out there this season. always trying to make the site grow! thanks for checking out the site.

  • Mike Mihalow

    Thanks, Jay. I just think its an idiotic move by LeBron. He’s just jumping on another band wagon. A newspaper ad works for Z, but not LeBron.
    If LeBron wanted to be genuinely sympathetic, he’d have used a 1-hour special on his EPSN network to thank Akron.

  • http://www.cnnsi.com JAY


    Lebwrong is so dumb, he thought he was teaming up with Dwayne Wayne from “A Different World”.

  • s.bucketz

    i like how you mention J.O’s 5-head but JeBron Lames is like the perfect human being to you??I bet the whole dime staff could jizz on his forehead and there would still be room for the whole espn staff too..

  • the cynic

    i keep trying to forget, but Lebron keeps reminding me, how much of a douche bag he has grown up to be. Not that he cares what anyone who isnt paying or promoting him thinks

  • http://www.facebook.com/mr.brogden Mr. Brogden

    Aint post in a minute, recovering from gettin my meniscus repaired…

    Just because I like showing y’all I DO NOT BLOW HOT AIR:

    This is what I said June 30 SMACK’S BROGDEN EDITION:


    “…Cleveland aint really a lock-in. Akron folk and Cleveland folk aint all honky dorry. Akron might be part of the Cleveland metro but tons of residents considers themselves stand-alones. The A. And stuff like that. “Cleveland’s whack. Cleveland’s boojie.”
    I heard stuff like that from Akron cats.

    We got lil’ local riffs like that ’round these parts. Yeadon, Darby, and Lansdowne boroughs outside of Philadelphia don’t care for one another all that much. Chester n Philly, Chester’s a stand-alone city that still has to fight off the “Philadelphia Suburb” label. So you know, he might not go back there on the strength of “loyalty” to a town he may or may not consider his. Even in side of Philly…some folk in Northeast don’t wanna be part of the city. And some folk in the Germantown, Mt Airy, and Chestnut Hill sections of the city straight don’t care for one another.”

    2 1 5 ALL DAY
    GO 6ERS!!

    And oh yeah…someone…


  • Mike Mihalow

    lol @ Jay
    I’m gonna add my insertion to the “new LeBron James aliases”, with “LBGay”

  • wifey

    LeHYPE james is a doucher