Look Back at the Tumultuous Relationship Between LeBron James and Cleveland Fans

From hero to enemy and back

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.

TIME Sports

Cedar Wright: Remembering Climbing Legend Dean Potter

Cedar Wright Dean Potter practicing the art of slacklining in Yosemite Valley

Cedar Wright is a professional climber and filmmaker based in Boulder, Colorado.

Dean Potter, 43, died on May 16 in a BASE-jumping accident in Yosemite National Park

For climbers, Yosemite Valley is Mecca, the most legendary venue for rock climbing in North America, if not the world. I would compare it to the North Shore of Hawaii for surfers. It’s a place where dreams are made and legends are born.

When I arrived in Yosemite in early 1998, wide-eyed and possessed by lofty dreams of climbing El Capitan and Half Dome, two of its largest formations, Dean Potter was one of the first guys I met. At the time he was a scrappy, unkempt, sinewy, ripped, crooked-nosed kind of guy, clad in haphazardly cut-off shorts and a torn, dirty t-shirt. He was living in a tent in the historic “Camp 4” climbers’ campground and making a small pittance by working occasionally for Yosemite Search and Rescue.

In climbing we have a unique tradition of quitting our jobs, moving into our vans and tents and living on next to nothing so that we can climb every day. Climbing is not a sport that can be excelled at by training in your spare time. It requires an immersive lifestyle, absolute commitment. Perhaps no person at the time embodied the dirtbag ethic more than Dean. He was like a climbing monk and his dedication to pushing the limits of the sport even early on was religious in its fervor, sometimes bordering on zealotry. Dean and I were similar in a lot of ways. We both were firmly of the disestablishment, semi-anarchist soul searchers whose tendency towards mild depression required steep rock faces and difficult all-day climbs to hold the foreboding at bay. I was living out of the back of my truck, and we became fast friends—or, more than that, members in the same tribe.

I joined a small clan who called themselves the Rock Monkeys. Over the next few years, a band of us would quietly write new history on the walls of Yosemite. If the Rock Monkeys were a tribe, Dean became our chief. I had the extreme good fortune to have Dean take me under his wing, teaching me the finer aspects of speed soloing on routes like Royal Arches and Snake Dike, and eventually full-fledged speed climbing on El Cap. We shared a frenetic impatience that made us fast, if not reckless. Dean also introduced me to slacklining, and soon we were walking huge exposed lines far above the valley floor together. Looking back, we really were living an absolutely unorthodox, but close to utopian, lifestyle.

Dean had earned a reputation in our community of being the valley’s boldest climber, but beyond our granite sanctuary no one really knew who he was yet. I remember even then having this sense of inevitability about Dean. He was just too exceptional for obscurity. His dreams were too big. Where a lot of us saw danger and impossibility, Dean saw challenge and opportunity.

Everything changed for Dean in the late nineties when he speed-soloed Half Dome in just a couple of hours using a revolutionary new style of climbing that is best described as “Gladiator-style.” It’s super high-risk, anything goes, balls-to-the-wall solo speed climbing. The world had never seen anything quite like it, and Dean became an undeniable magnetic force in the international climbing media. Some people thought he was insane, and they were half-right. Dean was this weird mix of calculated athlete and impulsive, tortured artist. He earned the name the “Dark Wizard” because his feats seemed magical, but also because at times he could be an intense, brooding guy.

There was a lot of duality to Dean, and the notoriety magnified this side of him. He signed with corporate sponsors, but he hated everything corporate. One moment it seemed like Dean could care less what people thought of him, and then the next he seemed deeply concerned how he was portrayed. Sometimes it almost seemed like he was trying to sabotage his career so that he could get back to the ascetic simplicity of his early years, like in 2006 when he caused a huge controversy by soloing the Delicate Arch, a protected rock formation so famous it’s featured on the Utah license plate. He lost many sponsors over that.

But even with his middle fingers up to authority, Dean was too magnetic to lose sponsors for long. New companies washed in to fill the vacuum. Dean went on to establish bold solo first ascents in Patagonia and do rope-less climbs of some horrifyingly difficult routes in Yosemite, including Heaven, a huge roof that—if you were to fall—would send you tumbling thousands of feet to the valley floor. He was the first person to walk many of the highlines in Yosemite without a leash, and eventually he became a prolific BASE jumper.

I don’t know where I would be without Dean. I have always been a little insecure, and during the formative years I spent climbing with him, he consistently believed in my potential more than I did. He had this philosophy that eventually wore off on me, that our attitude creates our reality, that the first step towards achieving a larger-than-life dream is to believe it is possible. I owe Dean one of the greatest gifts I have ever received, the ability to believe in myself.

As I watched Dean, I was excited for him but also jealous to witness his transformation to fully sponsored adventure athlete. I thought to myself, “I’m going to live that lifestyle some day, too.” Every day, I’m grateful that somehow I pulled it off! He influenced me in so many ways, from my early years as a speed climber and soloist, to my pursuit of a life as a professional climber. Dean defined an era and was a huge influence on many climbers. I’m grateful to have known one of the legends, rebels and inspirations of the climbing world, and sad he left so soon.

TIME Ideas hosts the world's leading voices, providing commentary and expertise on the most compelling events in news, society, and culture. We welcome outside contributions. To submit a piece, email ideas@time.com.

TIME Basketball

Timberwolves Win Draft Lottery, Lakers Move to No. 2

NBA Deputy Commissioner Mark Tatum, left, congratulates Minnesota Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor after the Timberwolves won the first pick in the draft, during the NBA basketball draft lottery, Tuesday, May 19, 2015, in New York.
Julie Jacobson—AP NBA deputy commissioner Mark Tatum, left, congratulates Minnesota Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor after the Timberwolves won the first pick in the draft, during the NBA basketball draft lottery in New York City on May 19, 2015

Kobe Bryant was tweeting his support, sort of

(NEW YORK) — The Minnesota Timberwolves won the NBA draft lottery Tuesday night, the first time since 2004 the team with the worst record won the No. 1 pick.

After years of bad luck in the lottery, things finally worked out for the Wolves, who can perhaps choose between big men Karl-Anthony Towns of Kentucky and Jahlil Okafor of national champion Duke to put next to Rookie of the Year Andrew Wiggins.

“We’re in this for big stakes,” said Flip Saunders, the Wolves’ president and coach. “The big thing about this is getting good talent that can blend together. This is another big step.”

The Los Angeles Lakers moved from the fourth spot to second, keeping a pick they would have sent to Philadelphia if it fell outside the top five. The 76ers are third followed by the New York Knicks, who had the second-best odds of winning but instead fell to fourth 30 years after winning the first draft lottery and drafting Hall of Famer Patrick Ewing.

Not since Orlando won the right to pick Dwight Howard in 2004 had the NBA’s ultimate game of chance came out in favor of the team with the best odds. The Timberwolves had a 25 percent chance of landing the top pick after finishing 16-66.

But their fans knew not to get their hopes up after the Wolves had fallen backward eight times previously, including both times they were in the pole position, 1992 and 2011.

Several hundred fans gathered to watch on the big screen at Target Center in Minneapolis and erupted when the Lakers card came out of the envelope for No. 2, meaning Minnesota had finally earned the top pick for the first time.

“Hope is nice to have,” said Jason Vincent, a fan of the team since 2001.

The Lakers were the other big winners even without moving all the way to the top. Their pick was only protected in the top five as a condition of their trade with Phoenix for Steve Nash in 2012. That was dealt this season to the 76ers, who could have ended up with two top-six picks if the Lakers had fallen backward two spots.

Lakers superstar Kobe Bryant ended his tweet after seeing the results with #lakerluck and #goodday.

The lottery sets the top three picks. The remainder of the 14 non-playoff teams follow in inverse order of their won-loss record.

Things went according to form until the Knicks slid back two spots. General manager Steve Mills hoped history could repeat by wearing Dave DeBusschere’s Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame ring, which DeBusschere was wearing as the Knicks’ GM when they won the 1985 lottery.

The lottery began that year as a way to prevent teams from losing on purpose as a way to secure the top pick. Tanking may still exist — the 76ers have appeared to be angling for the draft with no regard for their record the last couple of seasons — but the Wolves appeared to lose honestly while battling numerous injuries with a young roster.

Their victory, with owner Glen Taylor on stage, was only the fifth time the team that finished with the worst, or tied for the worst record, won the lottery.

The Cleveland Cavaliers had won the last two and three of the previous four lotteries since LeBron James left them for Miami in 2010. But with James back home, the Cavaliers are in the Eastern Conference finals and Miami was in the lottery, and the Heat held in the No. 10 spot where they entered.

The Heat’s pick would have gone to Philadelphia if they fell out of the top 10.

TIME Sports

Aly Raisman: Why Gymnastics Needs More ‘Team’ Recognition

Silver medalists Russia, gold medalists United States and bronze medalists Romania pose of the podium after the Artistic Gymnastics Women's Team final on Day 4 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at North Greenwich Arena on July 31, 2012 in London.
Jamie Squire—Getty Images Silver medalists Russia, gold medalists United States with Aly Raisman second from right, and bronze medalists Romania pose of the podium after the Artistic Gymnastics Women's Team final on Day 4 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at North Greenwich Arena on July 31, 2012 in London.

Aly Raisman was the captain of the 2012 gold medal-winning U.S. Olympics women's gymnastics team. She individually won a gold medal on the floor and a bronze medal on the balance beam.

Decreasing the number of Olympic teammates will make it harder for aspiring gymnasts

In 1996, the first time the U.S. women’s Olympic gymnastics team won gold, there were seven members on the team. In 2000, they changed it to six. My year, 2012, was the first year they changed it to five. Now, the International Gymnastics Federation has said there will only be four starting in the 2020 Tokyo Games. They keep making the team smaller and smaller. I don’t agree with the decision.

As a gymnast, it’s already extremely hard to make the team, and they’re making it even harder. My biggest fear for the sport is that younger girls will think that it’s impossible to make the team, and they won’t even try for it. This will also make it even harder for girls who are specialists. You’ll have to be a strong all-around gymnast to make the team.

The Olympics are inspiring—especially for young athletes. I loved watching the ’96 Olympic team because it was in America, and I loved their leotards—they were red, white, and blue. On top of that, they won the gold medal. I was only 2 years old when it happened, so my mom had a VHS tape that she would replay it for me over and over when I was older. I loved the American girls, and I also loved the Ukrainian gymnast Lilia Podkopayeva. She won the all around, and she won floor. When I watched the tape, I always dreamed of winning floor at the Olympics like her.

Here in America, the biggest sports are football, hockey, baseball, and basketball because they’re big team events. In the Olympics, there’s something about the whole country coming together and supporting a team. There’s nothing like watching a team event, and watching the Americans win. We always say that the most important thing is the team first. The priority is the team gold medal, and then we focus on the individual ones. That’s what people remember—the team competition.

When you come together and do really well as a team, it creates this amazing bond that you share with your teammates for the rest of your life. I’ll always have that connection with my teammates from the 2012 Olympics—McKayla Maroney, Gabby Douglas, Jordyn Wieber, and Kyla Ross. We worked hard, we conquered our fears, we made sacrifices, and then we came together and did everything we could to win. I’ve never been a part of a team where we were all so confident, where we all got along so well, and where we had so much fun. It was really magical the way everything came together.

The Rio Olympics are a year and a few months away, but I’m already starting to think about it every single day. I turn 21 next week, so I’m the oldest one on the national team. It’s crazy to be at training camps with 13- and 14-year-old girls. I take the role of being the oldest seriously and hope to be a good role model for the younger girls.

I’m really excited for the next year. I’ve always been the underdog, so I’ve never been in the position to go for another gold medal. It’s never been done: back-to-back gold for a U.S. gymnast. Gabby, Kyla, and I are going to try and do it together. It’s going to be hard, but we’re looking forward to it, and I hope we all make the team.

TIME Ideas hosts the world's leading voices, providing commentary and expertise on the most compelling events in news, society, and culture. We welcome outside contributions. To submit a piece, email ideas@time.com.

TIME Sports

‘Couple’ Smooching on Kiss Cam Spills Beer on Everyone

"Drunk in love...."

A Kiss Cam moment at the Wizards-Hawks NBA game in Atlanta Wednesday night was so hilarious that it was probably staged.

In this viral Vine, a woman pulls the man next to her into a hug and appears to deliberately pour beer onto the couple sitting in the row below them. Everyone seems to be smiling too much for the stunt to be real.

Past viral Kiss Cam stunts include the woman who “got back” at her boyfriend who wouldn’t kiss her in an ingenious way to the mascot who “intervened” in a couple’s “quarrel,” whisking away the “girlfriend.”

TIME Video Games

And The Madden NFL 16 Cover Goes to … Odell Beckham Jr.

He says he isn't worried about the 'Madden Curse'

Thanks to a sensational rookie campaign and pulling off the catch of the year, Odell Beckham Jr., the speedy wide receiver for the New York Giants, will be gracing the cover of EA Sports’ “Madden NFL 16” video game, EA announced via Twitter.

The 2014 Rookie of the Year won the fan vote by beating out New England Patriot’s tight end Rob Gronkowski, Arizona Cardinals cornerback Patrick Peterson and Pittsburg Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown.

Beckham is the youngest player and first New York Giant to be featured as a Madden cover athlete and he expressed his gratitude on Twitter.

Fans of the New York Giants and Beckham may be worried about the infamous “Madden Curse,” which is the theory that after a player lands on the video game’s cover he has a rough year ahead. It certainly held true for Michael Vick (who broke his leg a day after the game’s release) and Brett Favre (he left the Green Bay Packers that year). However, fellow wide receiver Calvin Johnson had a career year afterwards and last year’s cover star (the Seattle Seahawks’ “Legion of Boom”) made the Super Bowl. Plus, Beckham himself is clearly not a believer in the curse.

Despite missing four games due to injury, Beckham had 1,305 receiving yards and 12 touchdowns during the 2014-15 season.

MONEY Odd Spending

Tom Brady Merchandise Sales Have Doubled Since He Was Suspended

New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady's jersey on the rack at the Olympia Sports store in Medford, Massachusetts.
Charles Krupa—AP New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady's jersey on the rack at the Olympia Sports store in Medford, Massachusetts.

The NFL's surprisingly harsh crackdown on Tom Brady in the Deflategate scandal seems to have given sales of the Patriots' quarterback jersey a shot in the arm.

Some football fans and players think that the NFL’s handing out a four-game suspension to Tom Brady over Deflategate was fully warranted. Many others, however, have reacted to the judgment with a sense of shock and unfairness (the evidence against Brady is thin), even outrage. Still others think the decision demonstrates how warped the NFL is, in light of how softly and haphazardly the league has cracked down on players accused of abusing women.

When the Wells report was first released and Tom Brady was essentially portrayed as villain who must have at least been “generally aware” of improprieties involving the deflating of footballs for a playoff game, the consensus was that Brady’s “legacy” would be a little tainted. He’d likely be suspended, or at least face a fine. Some predicted that Brady jersey sales would plummet too.

One day after the NFL suspended Brady, however, it looks like the effect on Brady merchandise sales is just the opposite. The sports apparel specialist Fanatics.com is reporting that since Monday, when the suspension was announced, Brady gear sales are up 100%.

As of Tuesday, the site’s top-selling NFL jerseys belong to Marcus Mariota and Jameis Winston, the #2 and #1 pick, respectively, in the most recent NFL draft. Holding the site’s #3 spot is 37-year-old, four-time Super Bowl champion New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady. Prior to the suspension, Brady had the sixth-most gear sales on the site.

Apparently, it isn’t simply fans in New England who are scooping up Brady gear after the suspension. Fanatics.com says that fans in 22 states have purchased Brady merchandise over the past day, with Massachusetts, Florida, California, Washington, and Michigan recording the most sales.

It’s also worth noting that while the NFL may not seem to be happy with Brady of late, the official NFL Shop doesn’t seem to have a problem with him; the shop currently lists 127 Brady-related items for sale.

TIME Sports

See Photos From Yogi Berra’s First Years in the Major Leagues

On the baseball great’s 90th birthday, a look at why he made pitchers so nervous

In 1949, when Lawrence “Yogi” Berra was just three seasons into his career in professional sports—before he had racked up all the MVPs and the All-Star selections and the Hall of Fame induction that made for a baseball cap brimming with feathers—LIFE profiled the relative newcomer.

Specifically, the 24-year-old Berra, who turns 90 on Tuesday, would hit just about anything that came his way. Though he was formidable as a catcher, it was his batting that induced anxiety in pitchers. “All season long he has been approaching the ball as if he intended to beat it to death,” wrote LIFE’s Ernest Havemann. “Opposing pitchers have no idea what to do about him, and are inclined to get highly nervous every time he comes up to bat.”

His teammate, third baseman Bobby Brown, described Berra’s approach to batting as follows: “Yogi has the biggest strike zone in the U.S. It goes from his ankles to his nose, and from his breastbone as far out as he can reach.” And Brown wasn’t exaggerating, as Havemann continued: “Yogi can use his bat like a golfer blasting the ball out of a sand trap, like a traffic cop reaching toward the far line of cars with a nightstick, or like a man with a swatter straining for a mosquito on the ceiling.”

Unconventional as it may have been, Berra’s skill led to a decorated career with the Yankees, followed by a brief stint playing for the Mets and coaching gigs with the Mets, Yankees and Astros. Off the field, he enjoyed a long marriage to his wife Carmen, with whom LIFE photographed him when the two were expecting the first of their two sons. “The moral seems to be that you can’t get a good man down,” Havemann wrote. “Yogi is a good man.”

Liz Ronk, who edited this gallery, is the Photo Editor for LIFE.com. Follow her on Twitter at @LizabethRonk.

TIME Basketball

Watch High School Dunk Sensation Derrick Jones in Action

Like dunks? Here you go

Pennsylvania High School senior Derrick Jones is making the case that the NBA dunk contest should not be restricted to, well, NBA players.

In a video making the rounds on social media, the 6-ft. 6-in. UNLV commit not only pulls off Michael Jordan’s iconic free-throw-line jam but he one-ups the legend by adding a smooth windmill move to the mix.

Jones is considered by many to be the best dunker in high school basketball and his victory in an absolutely mind-boggling high school dunk contest in April may have cemented that status. But if out-jamming His Airness isn’t convincing enough, here some other examples the kid’s capabilities.

He’s looking down into the rim on this one.

Normal players can’t dunk over four other people, can they?

Blake Griffin and Zach LaVine better watch out; there is a new cat in town.

TIME Sports

Boomer: Brady Deserves ‘Major’ Suspension

Boomer Esiason is a former NFL quarterback and radio host.

Boomer Esiason weighs in on whether Tom Brady should be suspended for his role in the Deflategate scandal

TIME Ideas hosts the world's leading voices, providing commentary and expertise on the most compelling events in news, society, and culture. We welcome outside contributions. To submit a piece, email ideas@time.com.

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