LeBron James gets hero's reception on Cleveland return
James, who was born and went to school in Akron, Ohio, enjoyed two stints with the Cleveland Cavaliers, with his second spell at the franchise between 2014 and 2018 seeing him lead the team to their first-ever NBA Championship in 2016.
James departed the Cavs earlier this year to join the Lakers, and he returned on Wednesday night to a rapturous reception from the fans at "The Q".
The adoration from the stands seemed to inspire James, who produced a game-winning performance for the Lakers.
He scored 32 points and collected 14 rebounds as the Lakers came from behind to defeat the Cavaliers 109-105 in a thrilling encounter.
And after the game he paid tribute to the Cleveland fans, saying the reception meant a lot to him.
"In my 11 years I played for this franchise I just tried to give everything I could, both on the court and off the court," he said.
"[I tried to] represent this city, represent this community with the utmost respect, be a role model off the floor, be a leader on the floor.
"To come back and get the reception that I got tonight, it means a lot to not only myself, but for my family and my friends that were here tonight, and my family that's back home in LA as well."
BACK TO SCHOOL
Earlier in the day, James paid a visit to the school he founded, the I PROMISE School in Akron, where he enjoyed an emotional time chatting with the youngsters on campus.
"AB" PAYS TRIBUTE
Another of Ohio's favorite sporting sons, Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown, was in attendance at the game, and paid tribute to the returning James, calling him "The GOAT".
CAVS SAY "THANK YOU"
The Cavaliers showed their recognition for that fact in a special video message thanking their former hero for his impact, both for the team and in the local community, where his charity foundation - the LeBron James Family Foundation - aims to help positively affect the lives of children and young adults in his home town of Akron, Ohio through education.