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QUOTABLE Valley locals’ reactions to LeBron James’ announcement



Published: Sat, July 12, 2014 @ 12:00 a.m.

“When you talk of northeast Ohio, the people who have grown up here or have been here for a portion of their lives, who then get catapulted onto a larger life stage, deep down think dearly of this place. I watched the LeBron news today, and heard an announcer say ‘Well everyone likes their hometown,’ and another said ‘But Ohio is different.’ That is so true.”

Jim Tressel, Youngstown State University President

“Being from Florida, I find it hilarious that Floridians are upset that LeBron is leaving the Heat and returning to the Cleveland Cavaliers. Many of my friends are angry with his decision but now that I live in Northeast Ohio, I’m hoping that he will do for the Cavaliers what he was able to do for the Heat the last four seasons.”

Angelica Almaraz, Youngstown(formerly ofWest Palm Beach)

“He lied to us when he told us that he would not stop until be brought championship back to Cleveland. He betrayed us on national television by leaving for the Miami Heat so for me, I’d rather lose without him that win with him.”

Dom DeNiro, Youngstown

“Originally, I had my doubts because of his fractured relationship with Cavs’ owner Dan Gilbert. Once free agency began, however, I saw some signs that pointed him back in our direction. Today is an encouraging day for all Cleveland Cavaliers fans for all we ever wanted was to see is an NBA title and LeBron is the one player who can help us achieve that goal.”

Kevin Holden, Youngstown

“I’ve been waiting for LeBron to return since the day he left. It’s the ‘Return of the King’ and I cannot wait to drive past Quicken Loans and see his silhouette on the building opposite the arena.”

Ronald Frost, Boardman

“I welcome his return! He’s the greatest; Cleveland deserves a winner and I’m just hoping that he can bring a world title to the city because they deserve it!”

Debbie Krause, Campbell

“I really feel as though he hated not being loved. I think he missed not being around the people that he grew up with and while I was one of the many who didn’t think that he would come back, I’m happy that he has made the decision to return to the place where it all started for him professionally.”

Dan Livingston, Hubbard

“As a lifelong Cavaliers fan, my feelings remain that when you can add the very best player in the NBA without com promising your future, then do it. Set your feelings aside and don’t let you heart rule your stomach. I’m glad that he is back.”

Mason Shattuck, Canfield

SDLqI wish he would have stayed in Miami. The way he left here last time, he’s so full of himself.”

Jenny Payne, Youngstown

“I don’t follow basketball at all. I could care less to be honest with you. Whatever he does is fine. I don’t care.”

Bob Payne, Youngstown

“I’m really excited about it, really stoked. Cleveland’s got a big future coming up. I think he’s going to do better in Cleveland than he did in Miami.”

John Adkins, North Lima

“I really liked what he said on ESPN when he said that his love for Northeast Ohio was bigger than that of basketball. He does need a supporting cast and that is why I like what Cavs owner Dan Gilbert is trying to assemble around him. He’s in it for the long haul and it’s great to have him back. It will be interesting to see how many Heat fans now become Cavs fans.”

Sammy Calderon, Youngstown

“This is a great redemption story, although he should never have left in the first place. This area has fallen and always picked itself up and LeBron comes back to Cleveland both humbled and with a renewed attitude. There really is no place like home.”

Brian West, Youngstown

“He dogged us before so to me, to just welcome him back with open arms is a bit obnoxious. That being said, I hope he leads us to an NBA title.”

Danielle Cuculic, Youngstown (originally from Parma)

“It would actually stimulate the economy as far as ticket sales. I’m a season ticket holder and it would greatly increase the value of those tickets and bring more revenue to Cleveland.”

Raymond Culver, Youngstown

“I loved when he was here because it gave Cleveland that energy and excitement. I was sad that he left.”

Eric Bradley, Los Angeles

“It will be all right. Ohio needs something like that. I just don’t like LeBron James.”

Scott Courim Austintown

“I think it’s a great thing. I’m glad he’s back home. I never liked the whole him going to Miami thing and the super team but I’m glad he’s back where his roots are.”

Charles Brown, Youngstown

SDLqIt’s been a painful situation. Having lived through Art Modell and then what LeBron did four years ago, it hasn’t been good. I’m really happy for Ohio and northeast Ohio. It’s a good thing that happened for the best player in the world to say I want to go back to Cleveland.”

Ken Grisdale, Poland boys basketball coach


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