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August 7, 2014 - Mike McLain
CLEVELAND -- The Browns' practice Thursday took on added importance when basketball star LeBron James showed up with his two sons.
James is admittedly a Dallas Cowboys fan, but that might change a bit now that he's living in the area again after a four-year stay in Miami. James' appearance excited many of the players.
“We have one of the biggest athletes in the world at practice,” safety Donte Whitner said. “I think there has to be a lot of buzz. A lot of guys never met LeBron before."
Coach Mike Pettine spent close to 10 minutes talking to James during a special teams period on the field. Whitner spent a considerable amount of time with James. Whitner was given the day off.
Having James and quarterback Johnny Manziel on the field at the same time was quite a bit of collective star power. The two didn't talk on the field, but Manziel came back outside to talk with James after spending a short amount of time in the locker room.
Pettine hopes that James' presence could have a positive effect on Manziel's off-the-field behavior.
“I’m sure he could (have a positive influence on Manziel),” Pettine said. “He’s such a big star in the city and knows the city as well as he does and has the fame that he has earned over the years. I’m sure it can be nothing but a positive for Johnny."
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