LeBron James: Tom Brady Needs to 'Quiet the Crowd' in Return to New England with Bucs

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured Columnist IVSeptember 28, 2021

Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady (12) looks to throw a pass during an NFL football game against the Los Angeles Rams Sunday, Sept. 26, 2021, in Inglewood, Calif. (AP Photo/Kyusung Gong)
AP Photo/Kyusung Gong

Perhaps nobody in the world understands what Tom Brady is feeling ahead of a return trip to Foxborough, Massachusetts, than LeBron James.

After all, James was a Cleveland Cavaliers legend before he left for the Miami Heat. He didn't exactly get a warm reception in his first game as a visitor in Cleveland, as he explained to Peyton and Eli Manning during ESPN2's broadcast of Monday's game between the Dallas Cowboys and Philadelphia Eagles:

"I remember that day like it was yesterday. December 2, 2010. It was rough. I got no sleep the night before. I already knew the adversity and how crazy it was going to be. It was very challenging ... I know Tom did so many great things down there in Foxborough, down there with the Patriots. But they're gonna root for who they root for and you know they're gonna root for the Pats. It can get a little ugly. He's got to go in there and quiet the crowd like I was able to do the night of December 2, 2010."

While James is beloved in Cleveland now after eventually returning to the Cavaliers and leading them to the 2016 championship, he was public enemy No. 1 that night.

Despite the hostile reception and the apparent lack of sleep, the King finished with 38 points, eight assists and five rebounds while leading the Heat to a commanding 118-90 victory. He truly did quiet the crowd, which is exactly what Brady will look to do Sunday at Gillette Stadium when his Tampa Bay Buccaneers take on the New England Patriots.

However, it's a safe bet Brady won't face the same level of hostility.

James' exit was still quite fresh when he visited Cleveland in December 2010. He also didn't win a championship during his first stint with the team and left in a very public manner while broadcasting his choice in real time during what was infamously titled The Decision.

Brady left New England prior to the 2020 campaign and has already won a Lombardi Trophy with the Buccaneers.

He was also far more accomplished with the Patriots than James was during his first time with the Cavaliers, as evidenced by six Super Bowl titles, three league MVPs and countless memorable moments on his way to becoming arguably the greatest football player in NFL history.

The Patriots fans will surely cheer against him during Sunday's game, but they likely won't greet him in the same fashion as Cleveland did to James during his return.