Prior to his return to Cleveland to take on his former team, the Cavs, James stopped by the I Promise School in Akron, Ohio - a school he was instrumental in creating.
Smith, who played just six minutes in the Cavs loss in Detroit, had already requested a trade and now will work out privately until one can be worked out.
But then James delivered an heroic comeback in the 2016 NBA Finals, cementing his status as a beloved Cleveland hero for the rest of eternity. He reiterated Monday that he isn't interested in being a part of what the Cavaliers are doing. In this picture, James, #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers, stands on the court during their game against the Sacramento Kings at Golden 1 Center in Sacramento, California, Nov. 10, 2018. But he doesn't intend to end his tenure with the team that way. "And I'm not on the team", the Lakers forward added.
In a far cry from James' initial departure from Cleveland, which resulted in owner Dan Gilbert writing a scathing letter that ripped the Akron native, the Cavs are expected to pay tribute to the three-time National Basketball Association champion and nine-time Finals participant with a short video prior to or early in the game tonight.
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He admitted he would have friends and family coming to watch the game - and he would meet them prior to the game.
"I don't try to put too much into it", James told reporters of his return to Cleveland. "I did that. That's why I want to keep this relationship alive". "We all wish him the best and we all love him". "I will see some familiar faces like I did when I arrived here".
As Love stated, "Swish", as Smith is known, did become a fan favorite in Cleveland. Cleveland wound up losing in overtime and got swept by the Warriors.