CLEVELAND (92.3 The Fan) – Cavaliers forward LeBron James know greatness when he see it, and he respects it.
That’s why James has such an appreciation for Browns left tackle Joe Thomas.
Tuesday morning James was asked about Thomas’ consecutive games and snaps streak coming to an end after the 10-time Pro Bowler suffered a torn biceps tendon late in the third quarter of a 12-9 overtime loss to the Tennessee Titans.
“[I] already [had] appreciation for what he’s done for the Browns. Even before the snaps [streak],” James said after shootaround in preparation for Tuesday night’s game against the Chicago Bulls. “Obviously being a Browns fan myself, I wish for a winning season for Joe Thomas more than anybody in the whole organization. He’s given up his body every year, being as available as he’s been throughout the course of his career and I root for him every Sunday morning more than anybody on the team.
“Unfortunately he had the [triceps] injury that broke his streak, but he’s a Pro Bowler every year in and out for a reason. He will probably be a Pro Bowler again. My appreciation for what Joe Thomas has done for that organization; I didn’t need for him to hurt his [triceps] for me to appreciate him. I already did.”
Thomas saw his consecutive games streak end at 167 games and his consecutive snaps streak stopped at 10,363 Sunday afternoon when he went down for the first time in his 11-year NFL career. Thomas had surgery Tuesday morning to repair the ruptured tendon in his left arm ending his season. He’ll need 6-9 months to rehab.
Although Thomas has attended several Cavs games over the years, James said the 2 have not gotten the opportunity to sit down and talk but the 4-time NBA MVP wanted his feelings for Thomas to be known.
“[There’s] definitely mutual respect,” James said. “I feel for what he has to go through every Sunday.”
The Browns have gone 48-119 since using the third overall pick in the 2007 draft on Thomas, who is all but a sure lock for the Hall of Fame 5 years after he decides to retire, and they are 1-22 over the last 2 seasons. Despite the constant turmoil, failure and futility that surrounded him, Thomas played through several knee, ankle and arm injuries – never taking a play off.
James has noticed what an embarrassment the Browns have become but he chose to bite his tongue Tuesday morning and keep his opinions on the state of the organization to himself.
“I got a lot of things about the Browns, but not going to get into that now. Got quite a few,” James said.
James scoffed when a reporter said to him, “I’m struggling to remember the last time you went 1-22.”
“Who me? In my life? Me? At what?” James responded. “I ain’t never went 1-22 at nothing. Nothing.”