LeBron James set foot in the NBA through the 2003 draft. He was picked first overall by his hometown team, the Cleveland Cavaliers. He spent seven seasons with the franchise before moving to the Miami Heat to join Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh. He later returned to bring Cleveland a championship in 2016.

James has received a lot of love in Cleveland, owing to the greatness he displayed on the court. However, he has constantly reminded people that he’s actually from Akron, Ohio. It’s the city he was born and raised in. Leading up to the 2022 All-Star weekend in Cleveland, the LA Lakers star reiterated this in an interview with Sports Illustrated:

“People always say, ‘You’re going back home.’ But I tell people all the time, ‘I’m not from Cleveland.’ There’s no disrespect to Cleveland. But, when you’re from Akron, you’re not from Cleveland. This is where I’m from.”

Taking a closer look at LeBron James’ hometown

LeBron James was born Dec. 30, 1984, in Akron, Ohio. He led a challenging childhood. His mother, Gloria James, raised him by herself. James went to St. Vincent-St. Mary High School and grew up playing many sports. His earliest interest was in football. His interest shifted to basketball thanks to his football coach, Frank Walker.

Using @kingjames as the example, these scholars wrote a journal entry while thinking hard about how Mr. LeBron sees the world as a basketball player, father, celebrity, businessman, role model, founder of a nonprofit organization, kid from Akron, & most importantly, as a human. https://t.co/hqfvRCghis

What James feels toward Akron can be understood from a Q&A he had with a student from the “I PROMISE Program.” The interview was facilitated by “Teen Vogue.” The student, Jayden Shippe, aspires to play professional basketball, too. He asked James about the challenges he faced growing up. James responded:

“I think the best way that I managed those struggles growing up as a kid was just always understanding that there’s loved ones around me. That want me to succeed and there’s loved ones around me that want me to be great.”

James has often spoken about the support he received from Akron residents. At the time, he had to sleep in different places every night. James’ investment in I PROMISE schools in Akron is probably an attempt at payback for what the town did for him.

Akron decided to honor James by naming a museum after him. The LeBron James Museum is a work in progress. No opening date has been set yet. Upper Deck Sports, the trading card and collectables company, is slated to be the title sponsor for the museum.

The story of @KingJames will live on in Akron forever inside the one-and-only LeBron James Museum by @UpperDeckSports at House Three Thirty. 👑 We can’t wait to bring the story of the kid from Akron to life for all to see in 2023. 🤴🏾 https://t.co/UlhvC8r8pj

The exhibits are supposed to include everything from his modest surroundings growing up to the shoes he wore throughout his career. LeBron James has collected a lot of trophies in his career. They could be featured in the museum too.

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