If, like us, you've partially forgotten just how vitriolic and hateful Cavs fans acted on the night of Dec. 2, 2010, there are timely reasons, as you probably know, to revisit that evening.
LeBron makes his first return to Cleveland tonight as a member of the Los Angeles Lakers, almost eight years to the week he returned as a member of the Miami Heat for the first time since The Decision.
That things have changed since then goes without saying, but it's worth an embarrassing trip in the Wayback Machine to compare and contrast the reception James endured then and what awaits him now.
With the benefit of time, one may only remember that it was a heated affair and, thanks to beefed up security, one that didn't suffer to many instances of violence. We checked our notepad from the evening and according to the Cavs, there was just one arrest, four ejections and a couple of dozen signs and T-shirts confiscated. Someone near the court threw a battery, and up in Loudville we witnessed a fella wearing a Heat jersey Petey Pablo it over his head before a woman dumped a beer on him. There was a silly and convoluted attempt to organize no fewer than a dozen chants throughout the game, and at least one, "Ak-ron Hates You," caught on.
And boy was it loud.
But as many of the people who were there that night told USA Today, it was actually something far beyond loud. It was scary.
Take what former GM David Griffin had to say:
More hateful than games where concrete was thrown!
Griffin: “When he was introduced, it was the most loudest, hateful, vile vitriol I’ve ever heard in any building for any reason. I’ve taken a battery off the head sitting courtside at European games. I’ve been at Greek games where they’ve ripped the seats out of the concrete and thrown them at each other. I was at a Cibona-Partizan game (in Belgrade) where they shot flares across the court. But those were foreign languages I didn’t understand. This was as hateful as anything I’ve ever experienced.”
Anyway, read the oral history and be thankful tonight's return will be nothing like 2010.