SQ Exclusive Interview with James Blair, the “Biggest LeBron Fan in the World”
by 22 July 2014, 10:26 AM
James Blair is a 22-year-old physical therapy student at Kent State University and the founder of the “Come Home LeBron” movement. On March 20th, 2013, Blair stormed the court at Quickens Loans Arena during the fourth quarter wearing a “We Miss You” LeBron shirt. Relive the moment here:
Fifteen-and-a-half months later, LeBron James decided to return to Cleveland. James Blair was kind enough to sit down with me and answer a few questions:
Q: What was going through your head when you finally made it on to the court?
James Blair: When I finally made it on the court I was somewhat shocked, surprised that I had actually made it and then had to quickly make sure I let LeBron know what I was trying to get across to him. That message was that there were still fans, like myself, that supported him and would support him if he ever wanted to return. I included the year 2014 on my shirt because it was the first year LeBron could do exactly that, return.
Q: Where were you when you heard the LeBron news and what was your immediate reaction?
James Blair: I was actually helping do some part time work when I heard the official news but few days prior was tipped off that it would be happening. I still needed that 100% confirmation so when I finally heard the news I was ecstatic. So many emotions were going through my mind at that time because it really happened, he was coming back and I was just happy that Cleveland would be back on top again. Through this entire thing that was the main thing was I wanted LeBron back knowing Cleveland would compete year after year and the city and fans deserved to be on top again.
Q: Since running on the court at Quicken Loans Arena, you have been interviewed by ESPN, Sports Illustrated, and have had the chance to meet many celebrities and athletes. Who is the coolest person you have met since then? What has been your best experience since the incident?
James Blair: I have met so many people and made so many connections from the entire experience it has been crazy. I don’t know if I can pinpoint it to one exact person but the fact LeBron went out of his way to do what he did not only that night but even after the fact was probably best thing. Best experience since the incident may have to be getting the opportunity to travel to Miami for the last two games of the 2013 NBA Finals. Being at Game 6 live when Ray Allen hit that three was amazing. Then after the Heat won the championship, [it was amazing] to be at the same club as LeBron, [To have] Bosh, Wade and LeBron run into me and acknowledge me again there was pretty great as well.
Q: With forgiveness in the air in Cleveland, have you reached out to the Cleveland Cavaliers organization to appeal your ban? Do you think the organization will forgive you and un-ban you from the arena in the near future?
James Blair: I have not directly reached out to the Cavs since LeBron has made his decision, but have been using a few connections to try to do what I can to get it lifted. I have had an outstanding amount of support through Facebook and Twitter with so many people tweeting Dan Gilbert and the Cavs #LiftTheBan etc., and it has been terrific. Another women reached out to me and made a petition and started gathering signatures on change.org that has also been a great thing to see. I am hopeful though that the organization can forgive me for what I did knowing it wasn’t malicious and given I have been out for well over a year now. I guess time will tell.
Q: If you could give LeBron James one piece of advice for this upcoming season, what would it be?
James Blair: My advice to LeBron would to be just go out and have fun, play your game the way you always have and enjoy it. LeBron has the talent to make others around him [play ]very well and bring out the best in them and if he goes out and and plays his game and has fun the rest will come.
Q: From the perspective of the biggest LeBron fan in the world, what are your realistic expectations for the Cleveland Cavaliers for the 2014- 2015 season?
James Blair: I would say realistically I could see Cleveland making it to the Eastern Conference Finals. Depending on how healthy everyone stays and how quickly they can gel together, that could become a deeper run but I definitely could see a ECF run this year now with what we have.
You can follow James Blair on Twitter @jamesblair06.