When the Golden State Warriors swept the Cleveland Cavaliers in the NBA Finals earlier this summer, many felt LeBron James' career in Wine & Gold was nearing an end. With many pundits expecting LeBron to enter free agency, few saw a clear path for him to return to play his home games at Quicken Loans Arena the following season.
Fans suspicions were confirmed on July 1st when the superstar announced his intention to sign a 4-year, $154 million contract with the Los Angeles Lakers.
Despite James' relocation to LA, he will always be tied to Northeast Ohio. On Monday evening, James' hometown baseball team the Akron Rubberducks decided to pay homage to the future NBA hall of famer.
The RubberDucks are the AA affiliate of the nearby Cleveland Indians in Major League Baseball. To honor the former Cavalier, the minor league franchise retired his #23 and placed it on the outfield wall of Canal Park in downtown Akron.
Even though James won't play his home games in Cleveland this season, the RubberDucks wanted to make sure he always feels welcome in the City of Akron.
"LeBron James' greatness on the basketball court is unquestioned, but his commitment to his hometown of Akron is what really makes him a 'legend'," RubberDucks General Manager Jim Pfander said in a press release. "We felt there was no better way to honor someone who has had such a positive impact than retiring his number in Canal Park for fans to see for generations."