By Salima Koroma
May 26, 2015

The Cleveland Cavaliers are charging through the NBC Playoffs, taking a 3-0 lead in the Eastern Conference Finals into Game 4 against the Atlanta Hawks on Tuesday night.

But the road to the playoffs has been a daunting one, especially for LeBron James, whose return to Ohio was, in some cases, met with begrudging excitement.

With the Cavs on the cusp of reaching the NBA Finals for just the second time in team history, TIME explores the love-hate relationship between Cleveland fans and their hometown hero.

These days, it’s all love for LeBron in Ohio.

Write to Salima Koroma at salima.koroma@timeinc.com.

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