Cavs’ LeBron James reacts to longtime Browns OL Joe Thomas retiring
Over the years, Cleveland Cavaliers star LeBron James, born and raised in Akron, Ohio, has embraced the Cleveland Browns and their players, with both sides supporting each other. On Wednesday afternoon, 11-year Browns’ offensive lineman Joe Thomas announced his retirement.
Following the news of his retirement, James took to Twitter to congratulate Thomas on a great career.
— LeBron James (@KingJames) March 14, 2018
The 33-year-old, then replied:
Truly humbled and proud to get respect from the GOAT https://t.co/12ndVQwWZo
— Joe Thomas (@joethomas73) March 14, 2018
As reported by NFL Writer Marc Sessler, the Browns’ offensive tackle is hanging up the jersey and the pads after 11 seasons. In a video, Thomas thanked Cleveland and its fans for all the support:
“From the moment I was drafted, the city embraced me in a way that I could never fully describe. I am proud to call Cleveland home. The loyalty and passion of Browns fans is unmatched and it was an honor to play in front of them from the past 11 years. I would like to thank all of the coaches, teammates, staff, fans and everyone who has shown me support throughout my career. Even though I will be hanging up my cleats, I will always be a Cleveland Brown.”
— UNINTERRUPTED (@uninterrupted) March 14, 2018
Chosen as the 3rd pick in 2007, Thomas immediately proved that he could live up to the hype. He earned 10 consecutive Pro Bowl and six first-team All-Pro selections. It was a great feat of professionalism from Thomas, especially since the Browns have not enjoyed success in their franchise history.
Not only did he perform at a high level, but his durability as a player was also notable as he did not miss a single play in his career up until the 2017 season.
Yet despite after every loss, Thomas did not complain. He just did his job and kept his chin up and moved on to the next. For his efforts, he gained the respect of not a few, but a whole legion of Browns fans including LeBron James himself.