Thursday Hotness

  • At cavstheblog.com, the incomparable John Krolik reminds LeBron James of all the memories -- good and bad -- that he left behind in Cleveland. When loved ones leave us, we often bid farewell by wishing them the best. But here, Krolik wishes that LeBron becomes the best LeBron can be. Because if LeBron fails in that endeavor, it may makes his fans feel foolish for once believing in his greatness.

  • Kelly Dwyer of Yahoo! Sports Ball Don't Lie blog hopes Cleveland fans will do the right thing tonight. Be civil: "Cleveland, and northern Ohio, were wronged. And LeBron James was wrong. In every regard save for wanting to play with more talented teammates. But that's where it has to end, fans. You were wronged, no doubt about it, but it's not time to sink to James' level, and be wrong."

  • LeBron James for Sportsman of the Year? Andrew Sharp of SBNation.com makes his case: "By exaggerating everything that's wrong, LeBron's 2010 forced us to appreciate complicated, imperfect heroes like Kobe Bryant and Kevin Garnett. Or even someone like Mo Williams in Cleveland. Thanks to LeBron James, we've taken solace in these people. The ones that just want to play sports for the sake of playing sports; not the ones looking to become a global icon. At least for this year, we're not looking for the next Michael Jordan. Starting with the Cavs tonight, whoever's playing the Heat will do just fine in the hero role. So as you think about the Sportsman of 2010, ask yourself: Who has given us more to cheer about than LeBron James?"

  • Over at HoopsSpeak.com, Beckley Mason delivers a terrific expansion on a piece I wrote about the chemistry of LeBron James and Dwyane Wade. Mason refers to a recent quote from LeBron in which he states he doesn't want to become a role player. As Mason points out, although the term "role player" evokes the connotation that a player is devoid of any scoring ability, it's vital for players to understand their function on in the offense in order to cook up some chemistry. Understanding your role doesn't make you a "role player"; it makes you a team player.

  • Need a ticket to tonight's game in Cleveland? SeatGeek.com has you covered. Tickets available at a price anywhere between $88 to $1,436. The best deal? A $111 ticket just five rows from the roof. Also, just be careful about what you wear.

  • The forecast for Cleveland tonight calls for snow while the game tips off at 8 o'clock. So which will be colder: Cavaliers fans welcome or the temperature outside (projected to be 29 degrees F, by the way)?

  • Is tonight going to be the single most emotional and notable return of an individual in sports history? In an email memo, ESPN Stats & Information offers their list of other candidates who elicited strong reactions from their former teams in their return: Brett Favre, Rick Pitino, Nick Saban, Terrell Owens, Wade Boggs, Johnny Damon, Roger Clemens, Bill Parcells, Leo Durocher, Henry Bibby, Ken Norton Jr., Dusty Baker, Bill Sharman, and Bo Schembechler. Any others?

  • Dave Hyde of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel walks us through the path to the place LeBron calls home: "Let's take a tour of the king's lost kingdom. Let's drive down the highway a politician once proposed naming for him. Let's stop at the city that once considered putting, 'Home of LeBron James,' on its border signs. Let's drive to the third home on the right in this big-yarded neighborhood. Here's the 35,000-square-foot palace LeBron built with a theater, bowling alley and barbershop. It's 25 miles south of Cleveland, in Bath, Ohio, a suburb of his beloved Akron. The gate is closed. The guardhouse is manned."

  • A painful realization for Cleveland fans: when LeBron James left the Cavaliers, he took the organization's future along with him. One can't help but wonder how the fan reaction would be if the franchise weren't so ill-prepared to handle the very real possibility that James would jump ship. ESPN's John Hollinger details the hopelessness surrounding Dan Gilbert and the Cavaliers franchise in today's PER Diem.

  • When LeBron left Cleveland this summer, former teammate and current Cavaliers point guard Mo Williams was very public this summer voicing his disappointment. How would Williams liken the emotions? As he tells the Akron Beacon Journal, "It’s almost like your ex-girlfriend coming to your wedding."