The new image that will stare back at fans on a wall that once featured LeBron James will be none other than a Guardian of Transportation statue.
The Cleveland Cavaliers announced Friday that the community-inspired design for the massive banner that hangs on the Sherwin-Williams global headquarters wall in downtown Cleveland will feature the iconic figure. The design features a mosaic of the recognizable landmark populated with photographs to be submitted by Cavs fans and Clevelanders.
“Our goal was to create a meaningful offering of public art to celebrate ‘The Land’ and all those who support and love this city and region,” said Len Komoroski, Cavaliers and Quicken Loans Arena CEO, in a statement. “Our hope is that it stirs the emotion and sense of pride, community and celebration of our city in a personal way for those invested in ‘The Land.”
James once reigned over the arena district on the 110-foot by 210-foot banner that overlooks Ontario Street and faces Quicken Loans Arena, but his image came down soon after James announced plans to play for the Los Angeles Lakers. It left many to wonder who or what could take his place on a wall that has served as the backdrop for thousands of Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pictures and self-portraits.
Now, it is known that it will be replaced with an image of one of the sandstone statues created to resemble mythical figures that stand guard over Cleveland’s Hope Memorial Bridge (formerly known as the Lorain-Carnegie Bridge).
“In addition to the banner being the perfect selfie backdrop for Cavs fans, Clevelanders and visitors who come downtown to enjoy all (the city) has to offer, the design provides the opportunity to engage everyone no matter where they live and no matter what their connection to our city and community is — our pride spreads far and wide,” Komoroski said.
To create the image of the Guardian, the Cavaliers will crowdsource thousands of photos submitted by Clevelanders and Cavs fans everywhere that illustrate how they celebrate Cleveland pride. The artistic interpretation symbolizes that all are protective guardians of Cleveland and stand united in the pride held for the city and community.
“ALL FOR THE LAND,” is displayed in a bold white font, a nod to the mantra that has taken on a life of its own with Cavs fans. “All for One. One for All,” The Cavaliers “C” logo and Destination Cleveland’s “Cleveland” script wordmark appear side-by-side beneath the mantra.
The Cavaliers are now accepting photo submissions for the final mosaic.
For more information and to submit photos, visit Cavs.com/banner. The deadline for submissions is 5 p.m. Friday, Sept. 21.
The banner will be installed in early October in conjunction with the start of the 2018-19 NBA season.