New LeBron banner to be unveiled before opener
Oct. 23, 2014
CLEVELAND (AP) — Once again, a colossal image of LeBron James will loom over downtown.
A new, 10-story-tall banner celebrating James' return to Ohio will be unveiled on Oct. 30 before the superstar and the Cavaliers open the NBA season against the New York Knicks.
The Nike-sponsored banner will hang on the side of Sherwin-Williams Co.'s global headquarters across the street from Quicken Loans Arena, in the same spot where an iconic banner of James hung during his first stint with the Cavs but was removed four years ago when he took his talents to Miami.
On Thursday, workers took down and packed up the colorful "Our Vibrant Hometown" banner to make way for the new one of James.
"For the past three years, we have dedicated the side of the Sherwin-Williams headquarters building at Ontario and Huron to celebrate the energy, strength and beauty of our home town of Cleveland," said Sherwin-Williams CEO Chris Connor. "LeBron James is certainly one of the prides of Northeast Ohio. We think this new banner is a fitting tribute to LeBron's return to Cleveland and we join with Nike and Cavaliers fans everywhere to welcome him home."
The city's planning commission approved the new banner in September.
Before he signed with Miami in 2010, the black-and-white "We Are All Witnesses" banner of James, his arms spread under a cloud of chalk he routinely tossed into the air before home games, became a spot of public pride and a must-see attraction for out-of-towners. But on the night he announced he was signing with the Heat, some angry Cleveland fans threw rocks at the original James banner. It was removed a few days later, a symbolic ending to a career that now includes a homecoming,
James re-signed with the Cavs in July, returning to the team that drafted him and played with for seven years.