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Cavs fans to LeBron: Please, please stay

CLEVELAND - They're saying it on billboards, in song, in letters, in petitions and more.

Whatever the format, the message from Clevelanders is the same: Dear LeBron James, please don't go. Please please please don't go.

This hard-luck city on the shores of Lake Erie is desperately trying to show its NBA superstar that, with free agency looming July 1, the best spot for him is right up the road from his hometown of Akron, Ohio, the place where he's played for seven seasons as a Cleveland Cavalier and won two MVP awards.

And in the wake of a baffling early exit from the playoffs - a six-game series loss to the Celtics - the grass roots campaign has taken on not just a new urgency but the sense of a last chance. Without James, after all, the chances of Cleveland breaking its 46-year titleless streak in major pro sports don't seem too good.

"He's a hometown guy. We definitely want to put that on his conscience," said 23-year-old Austin Briggs, of Cleveland Heights, co-founder of the website pleasedontleave23.com.

Other cities are trying to woo him. In New York City, The Daily News launched www.getlebron.com. Bulls fans have www.sendlebrontochicago.com and long-suffering Clippers fans are planning a parade.

"It's all about winning for me and I think the Cavs are committed to doing that, but at the same time, I've given myself options to this point," James said.

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