"If you boo him, you're an assh--e," Hill told Jason Lloyd of The Athletic. "He just means too much to this city, to this organization."
James will return to Cleveland for his first time as a Laker on Wednesday night. The situation is far different than his return as a member of the Miami Heat in 2010, which was one of the most toxic environments in NBA history.
Dave McMenamin and Brian Windhorst of ESPN reported league officials considered ending the game early because of the fan reaction to James and the Heat. Just months earlier James had appeared on national television and announced he was leaving his home state for Miami.
At the time, James was the best player in the league but still unproven in the postseason spotlight. Upon his triumphant return, he was a two-time champion who'd led the Heat to four straight Finals. The Cavs went to four more with James back in wine and gold and won the 2016 title.
His departure this time around was seen as more of an inevitability, with people in Cleveland appreciating the championship run and recognizing James made a family decision to move to Los Angeles.