Writer who broke LeBron story talks to FOX 8 about exclusive

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CLEVELAND -- The Sports Illustrated writer who broke the story of LeBron's return was in Cleveland Friday night.

Lee Jenkins told FOX 8's Kevin Freeman that he felt the need to be here to see the excitement on the streets of Cleveland for himself and to re-unite with people whose actions had become a symbol of the pain of LeBron’s departure four years ago.

“I was able to talk with him for a little while yesterday and you know kind of see where his head was,” Jenkins told FOX 8.

Jenkins was at the Harry Buffalo in Lakewood, stopping to talk to fans who burned LeBron jerseys in 2010.

“I don’t think he had finalized anything until this morning, but he was definitely leaning in that direction and there’s just so much unfinished business here,” Jenkins said.

Jenkins had done several stories with Cavs fans, Jason Herron.

“I came up with this idea full circle. We burned the jerseys. I know Lebron mentioned in the letters that he wrote that burning the jerseys was one of the reasons he was hesitant to come home, so we wanted to come full circle and say, 'Hey, LeBron, you’re back; you rose from the ashes. We welcome you back.' He’s home. Everything’s great,” Herron said.

Several people gathered in the restaurant’s parking lot and pulled a number 23 jersey from under ashes, as a symbolic gesture.

“The first time it happened, it just felt wrong. It felt like LeBron should’ve never left; this is his home and he made a mistake and as did I, by burning the jersey," said renewed LeBron James fan, Matt Codner.

After the symbolic “rise from the ashes," the group cheered and chanted “LBJ!”

*CLICK for continuing coverage on LeBron's homecoming*

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