On Christmas Day LeBron James will return to play in the American Airlines Arena for the first time since leaving the Miami Heat to rejoin the Cleveland Cavaliers this offseason.
The game will of course reunite the four-time NBA MVP with a number of his closest friends in basketball, including Dwyane Wade and the Heat-lifer has today expressed his desire for the Miami Heat fan base to show their appreciation for what LeBron did for the franchise during his four year spell in South Beach, rather than unleash a torrent of boos.
Speaking to ESPN, Wade acknowledged that some Miami Heat fans remained angry at their former hero for leaving the franchise after their 2014 NBA Finals defeat but he urged them to put their current feelings to once side - at least for the pre-game build up.
"It's going to be a mixture," explained the perennial All-Star when discussing the likely reaction to the return to Miami of his close friend.
"How I think he should be received is a little bit different. The man helped take us to places we've only been once before he got here. So I think he should be received very well for that at the start of the game. And then, when the game (starts), then do what you've got to do."
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Tough break up
LeBron James' Heat exit this summer did not quite reach the jersey-burning levels of his 2010 departure from the Cavaliers but it is fair to say it did leave a sour taste in the mouths of those involved with the Heat franchise.
Miami's inconsistent start to post-LeBron life this season hasn't helped matters in that regard and as such the Christmas Day showdown promises an electric atmosphere.
Respect his role
Dwyane Wade is right to point to James' contribution over the past four years however. Without LeBron it is highly unlikely the Heat would have reached four, and won two, NBA Finals.
The Heat themselves plan to honor James time with them with a pre-game video tribute and if Wade has his way, the general mood will be one more of appreciation rather than degradation.
What do you think Heat fans? Would you boo on LeBron's return, or are those that remain angry with the star failing to see the bigger picture? Let us know in the comments section below...