Nationally, LeBron James is as popular as ever.
In Miami? Not so much.
Still reeling from James’s homecoming earlier this month, resentment is building among Heat fans. They’ve taken issue with a number of details surrounding James’s departure— from James agreeing to meet with Pat Riley in Las Vegas after the Sports Illustrated article was already in the works, to James omitting a “thank you” to Heat fans in the letter.
Dan Le Batard, ESPN’s Miami-based sports journalist, has often poked fun at the local outrage in his syndicated afternoon sports radio show, “The Dan Le Batard Show.” On Tuesday’s show, Le Batard and his co-hosts discussed Heat owner Mickey Arison’s letter to fans and the topic, of course, came back to LeBron’s letter.
“The Miami Heat fan base is still agitated that LeBron never thanked them personally on the way out, even though James did have a couple of those moments holding up the trophy when he’s speaking to the crowd and he’s saying – and this had to kill Cleveland —’it’s special because I’m doing it in front of you, Miami.’ “
Le Batard joked about the fan base’s need for excessive thank yous and after listening to co-host Mike Ryan give the Heat fan perspective, Le Batard mentioned an idea proposed by the station’s morning show— a full-page ad in a local Cleveland or Akron newspaper, simply saying “You’re welcome, LeBron,” along with a photo of the two rings James won in Miami. Le Batard suggested creating a Kickstarter campaign to raise the money and humorously alluded to “an anonymous donation from a certain cruise magnate.”
The Plain Dealer wasn’t amused, and “politely declined” the ad, according to cleveland.com.
“They have declined our money,” Le Batard later said. “They do not want our money. They will not allow us to put our ad in the paper.”
So much for the Kickstarter campaign.
A mock-up of the ad quickly emerged on Twitter and can be found below.
I would pay for this…. pic.twitter.com/bnHCguU3G4
— BANDWAGON HEAT LIFER (@itsleooo) July 29, 2014