LeBron James received a warm welcome from Miami fans as he returns to Miami for a Christmas Day showdown with his former team.
The Miami Heat thanked LeBron James for his four years of title contention, two championships, and two Finals MVP seasons with a tribute video on Thursday.
The tribute video, shown after a first quarter time-out, showed a highlight reel of his achievements during his four years in Miami. Despite getting few boos when his name was announced before the opening tip-off, Miami fans broke out into a loud standing ovation after seeing the video and James acknowledged the applause, raising his right arm to wave as he walked back onto the court from the bench following the timeout.
In a report from ESPN, LeBron called the game “very” emotional.
“It’s cool. A lot of emotions come back and you know, I spent four years here with those guys, man and some guys are still here, some guys are not here. We put in a lot of hard work and dedication just to do the best we could.”
LeBron also embraced his former teammates and gave his close friend Dwyane Wade a tight hug before the game.
James left the game in the third quarter with an apparent left leg injury in the third quarter after he jumped into the crowd trying to save a loose ball.
The Heat held on to win the game, 101-91. Dwyane Wade scored 31 points, 24 of them in the first half, and Luol Deng put up 25. James finished with 30 points and eight assists.