LeBron James may have alienated the rest of Ohio by jilting the Cavs in favor of the Miami Heat earlier this month, but the state's most-hated man apparently still has a small pocket of support in Columbus.
Ohio State basketball coach Thad Matta told the Cleveland Plain Dealer that the Buckeyes will continue to wear James' signature Nike shoes next season and hope to maintain a strong relationship with him in the future.
"In my opinion, LeBron still loves Ohio, still loves Ohio State," Matta said Wednesday. "I hope that he remains a huge fan of ours because I'm still a huge fan of his. In my position, it's more who he is as a basketball player, not who he's playing for."
James' ties to Ohio State date back to his high school days when the Buckeyes recruited the Akron native before it became obvious that he would skip college and turn pro. Ohio State wore jerseys with James' Nike logo stitched on them during their Final Four run in 2007 and last October presented James with a framed No. 23 Buckeyes jersey in recognition of his support.
It's probably not a huge risk to continue to align with James, but then again the anti-LeBron fervor won't subside in Ohio anytime soon.
We know most Ohio residents will boo James, so will they support a team wearing his sneakers?