Former Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland ready to forgive LeBron James.

Former Ohio Governor Ready to Forgive LeBron James

Former Ohio Governor Ready to Forgive LeBron James

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
July 11 2014 12:52 PM

Former Ohio Governor Ready to Forgive LeBron James

At least one Ohioan is pleased to have him back

Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Ted Strickland was the governor of Ohio when LeBron James made the Decision to leave Cleveland for Miami. At the time, Strickland was in a pitched battle for re-election. He lost that race; he now runs the Center for American Progress Action Fund. I talked to Strickland yesterday for a story (coming shortly), and toward the end I asked whether he wanted LeBron back in Cleveland.

"He’s obviously an exceptional player," Strickland said. "I know there was a lot of criticism when he left Cleveland, but he was a kid, really. I think Ohio ought to be proud that he came from us and still has remained active with his hometown."


Strickland told a story of his own brush with James, which happened seven years ago. Nike was displaying a 10-story banner of the story, stoking complaints from the usual NIMBYs. The governor was asked to take a stand on the display.

"I said, 'That’s not advertising, it’s art, and it’s staying,' " Strickland remembered. "I got this nice note from LeBron, thanking me for doing that. But I would have done it anyway."

David Weigel is a reporter for the Washington Post.