Although a mega superstar, LeBron James has shown great humility and wants you to know he’s “just a kid from Akron, Ohio.”
While his hometown team will be leaning on the “kid” to lead the Cleveland Cavaliers to an NBA Championship, the city is trying to lean on him in a much different sense that some may even see as bizarre.
State Rep. Bill Patmon (Cleveland) is working on legislation that will allow for the sale of “LeBron James Witness 2.0” specialty license plates in the state of Ohio according to the Associated Press.
Yes, there is a legitimate chance LeBron James license plates could be coming to Ohio.
Automobile owners for years have used their ride as a canvas to express their political affiliation, humorous quotes and sports fandom. Of course, once you have flags of the team logo flying in the wind from your window and a matching window sticker, there can only be one way to complete the trifecta and have your license plate match.
Patmon is currently a member of the Ohio Transportation Committee and is a former chairman of the Cleveland City Council Finance Committee. It is safe to say that generating revenue from the city’s most infamous name, specifically in regards to something pertaining to an automobile, is only fitting from Patmon.
“When LeBron came home, it was a big deal for us,” Patmon said. “It might not be for the rest of the world, but it’s a big deal for Cleveland.”
Currently, the state of Ohio’s generic license plate is a picturesque farm, with a skyline of Cleveland and a biplane flying over with a banner in the middle reading “The Birthplace of Aviation” as the Wright Brother’s grew up in Dayton, Ohio. It’s not absurd to think that a James license plate is possible, seeing as how there are over 100 different specialty license plates that can be purchased, including your choice logo from one of the state’s seven professional sports teams or even the Professional Football Hall of Fame.
Cleveland, a town rich in die hard sports fans, who have yet to reach the pinnacle of any professional sport since 1964 (Cleveland Browns NFL Champions) see James’ return as a means of redemption in changing the city’s sports misery.
If Nike, ESPN and the NBA can gain financial fortitude from James’ decision to return home, then why shouldn’t the city itself, financially decimated by the major collapse of the industrial market, get a piece of the pie? Surely there is enough to go around when we are dealing with an athlete that is the face of the NBA and its’ ever climbing $4.6 billion in revenue, as well as gross $300 million for his signature sneakers for Nike in 2012.
There is a very realistic chance that there will be Ohio license plates adorning its hometown “King” in the very near future, making Patmon’s proposal intuitive and not far-fetched. If James decides to leave again, let’s hope that Ohioans have the sense to remove the plate from their car before setting fire to it.