POSTED: 7:46 a.m. HST, Jul 10, 2010
CLEVELAND — LeBron James is being dropped off a building.
Workers began dismantling the 10-story-tall iconic image of James on a mural in downtown Cleveland on Saturday. The billboard has dominated the city's skyline for years but is being removed after the superstar announced he was leaving the Cavaliers for the Miami Heat.
As strips of the image of James, his arms outstretched and head thrown back after doing his pregame powder toss, began coming off, pedestrians stopped on Ontario Street to take photos and cars pulled to the side for one last look at No. 23, who has gone from being a hometown hero to villain.
"We are removing the LeBron James Witness mural in downtown Cleveland and expect the process to be completed within a few days," Nike spokesman KeJuan Wilkins said in an e-mail to The Associated Press.
Wilkins said he does not yet know what the company's plans are with the gigantic sign.
On Friday, several fans gathered on the sidewalk outside the Landmark Office Tower as workers prepared to remove the billboard.
"My mom wanted us to get a picture of it before they brought it down," said Kayla Mack of Norwalk, Ohio. "It's very bittersweet."