Jim Brown wants LeBron to remain in Cleveland
CLEVELAND—The most famous football player in Cleveland history hopes the city's most celebrated basketball star stays put.
Browns Hall of Fame running back Jim Brown said Tuesday night that he hopes LeBron James remains with the Cavaliers.
James, the NBA's reigning MVP, can leave Cleveland as a free agent after this season. He has never indicated he will sign elsewhere, but speculation has centered on him signing in a new, long-term contract in a larger market.
Brown, who played his entire NFL career in Cleveland, would like to see James do the same.
"Looking at the fact that it is a business, I put that first," Brown said. "But having said that, I would love to see him be here. I think it's a terrific marriage. He does so much for this city and I think he has an owner (Dan Gilbert) that tries to do everything he can. When you have an owner who is trying to do the best he can do and a player, it's a terrific set of circumstances. But the business is the business."
James and Brown met with the media before Tuesday night's game against the Toronto Raptors. They were brought together as part of the Cavaliers' celebration of black heritage month. Brown was honored during halftime ceremonies along with former Ohio State football star Cris Carter, Buckeyes basketball great Jim Jackson and former Cleveland Indians pitcher Jim "Mudcat" Grant.
James seemed genuinely awed to be in Brown's company.
"Anytime you can be mentioned with a great and be able to continue the legacy he built here in Cleveland, is humbling for me," James said. "We both know how much the fans love sports and I have had to learn to keep the momentum going after he passed the torch."
Brown praised James for helping give opportunities to others and for making the most of the chances he has received.
"What Dr. King worked for was to give young men like him an opportunity and when you get an opportunity you can't squander that," Brown said. "You see that so much in the league now, young men that have great opportunities to make a lot of money and they squander it. But this young man hasn't done that.
"Although he's a young man, he's way beyond his age."