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Joe Thomas LeBron Brought Tears to My Eyes After Cavs Game Honor

3/20/2018 2:47 PM PDT

Joe Thomas Says LeBron Made Him Tear Up After Hug at Cavs Game

EXCLUSIVE

LeBron James brought tears to a 6-foot-6, 315 lb. man's eyes Monday night ... 'cause ex-Browns superstar Joe Thomas says LBJ's retirement tribute before the Cavs game hit him right in the feels!!

TMZ Sports spoke with the future Hall of Famer about the King showing love with a HUGE hug on the court before the game against the Bucks ... and J.T. says he got so emotional, he had to sneak out of eyesight to gather his emotions!!

"It was a really special moment to get love and respect from an icon like LeBron James, somebody that I've been a fan of since I was 12 years old ... it was really special." Thomas says.

J.T. also points out it was a great way to cap off his career ... 'cause he was was first introduced to Cleveland fans as a rookie when the Cavs were in the Finals in 2007.

There's more ... the 10-time Pro Bowler officially retired last week ... and Thomas says he's gonna explore all options before choosing his next move ... and doesn't count out a future in television!!

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