LeBron James' love of Chicago

April, 22, 2010
4/22/10
3:37
PM ET
Abbott By Henry Abbott
ESPN.com
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The Associated Press quotes LeBron James, flatly refusing to rip Chicago in the manner that his playoff opponent Joakim Noah has gone after Cleveland:
"It's an awesome city. Great restaurants, great shopping," said James, who spent three summers in Chicago while in high school working out at Michael Jordan's facility. "I have nothing bad [to say] about Chicago, and I'm not saying that because of what he said about Cleveland. I'm dead serious. We all love Chicago."

Without prompting, James then added that he has vacationed in Chicago a few times. As reporters laughed at the irony, James chuckled, but insisted he was serious.

A footnote to that story: James' three summers in Chicago are no small thing. They came when he was in high school, starting when he was a sophomore.

Do you remember being a high-school sophomore? That's young! Would you have left home to live and train in another city? Many kids that age get stressed out about sleep-away camp, for crying out loud.

It was bold and audacious, no matter how good he may have been at hoops. It was a leap of faith.

Who could have engendered the young player's trust to orchestrate such a thing?

That, my friends -- according to the word of those who were there at the time -- was the work of William Wesley. It's not news James and Wesley have known each other that long, but the reality of those summers is telling about the depth of the connection between Wesley and James.

Henry Abbott | email

TrueHoop, NBA

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