MIAMI (AP) — LeBron James says he wants to give the fans of Cleveland “a lot of thanks” for their support during his seven years with the Cavaliers.

He knows they won’t feel the same, at least not on Thursday night.

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James is going back to the city he scorned, wearing a Miami Heat uniform and playing before fans that treated him like royalty. All that changed in July, of course, when James went on television to announce that he was leaving Cleveland and joining the Heat.

James says “it’s going to be very emotional” for him, and that he’s had some good-natured talks with former Cleveland teammates about what the scene will be like. Heat teammates say they have a sense James cannot wait for the experience to be over with.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.