MIAMI — LeBron James will have his favorite Thanksgiving foods — turkey, yams and macaroni and cheese — on his holiday table today.
More importantly, that table will be surrounded by his favorite people.
If an upside exists to the Miami Heat having to spend Thanksgiving and Christmas on the road, a schedule quirk that the NBA champions are not happy about, it’s that one of those swings is through Cleveland. Miami visited the Cavaliers yesterday, and altered its postgame travel schedule so James could host Thanksgiving dinner at his northeast Ohio home.
“We would have loved to have been here for the holidays, Thanksgiving and Christmas being here in Miami,” James said. “We don’t mind playing on those holidays. Wish we could have been here, but I am happy that I’m able to do something for the team for Thanksgiving.”
James has tried to address every detail, like telling the team to wear casual attire and asking Shane Battier what beer he wants with dinner. James’ wife and his chef will split the cooking duties.
“We’re not at home with our families for Thanksgiving but it couldn’t work out any better that at least we could be in someone else’s home,” Miami’s Dwyane Wade said. “And it’s a very nice home that we’re going to, so I’ll make sure I’ll put on the right clothes and the right socks, gotta-take-your-shoes-off-at-the-door type of house.”
James’ previous visits to play against the Cavaliers, a team he led to their only NBA finals but then spurned as a free agent, have taken on circus-like atmospheres.
His first game in Cleveland was a hatefest as Cavs fans turned on the once adored superstar, booing his every move with unprecedented venom. Last March, James rallied the Heat from a 27-point deficit in the third quarter to beat the Cavs in a game that included a fan running on the floor wearing a T-shirt that said: “We Miss You, 2014 Come Back.”