LeBron James future in Cleveland has been the subject of rampant speculation, with the Cavs star being linked to Los Angeles, and former ESPN writer Chris Sheridan reported this today:
NBA source said today: "This will be LeBron's final season in Cleveland. He is 100 percent leaving. Relationship with owners beyond repair."— Chris Sheridan (@sheridanhoops) August 16, 2017
Sheridan once correctly predicted LeBron’s return in 2014 in a post that is no longer on his website while missing on some very key details (he said that the announcement would be made on James’ website, for example.)
Well, that report sent Twitter into a tailspin, but Cleveland.com’s Joe Vardon responded with a series of tweets aggressively disputing Sheridan’s report.
For what it's worth (damn it, I'm on vacation), three sources close to LeBron said this latest tweet about him is 100 percent false— Joe Vardon (@joevardon) August 16, 2017
I have more: three sources paid particular attention to LeBron's relationship with ownership, and said LeBron does not view it that way— Joe Vardon (@joevardon) August 16, 2017
And finally, one of the sources close to LeBron said there is no NBA source who could speak on his behalf in the way it was reported— Joe Vardon (@joevardon) August 16, 2017
Well, there’s that. LeBron’s camp seemed to strongly dispute Sheridan’s official report.
It was noteworthy to see that those sources close to LeBron disputed reports of enmity with Dan Gilbert while not going out of their way to say that things are peachy either.
I can’t imagine James is happy with Gilbert given how disastrous this Cavaliers offseason has been, and given his recent negative comments regarding President Donald Trump, it’s likely an unfortunate cherry on top that Gilbert is such a fan. With that said, James doesn’t traditionally shut doors until he’s already walked through another one, so distancing himself from that sentiment is not particularly surprising.
Momentum has been building towards LeBron’s potential departure, but it’s almost certain that we won’t know what he’ll do until he does it. That’s his preference, and it’ll likely stay that way. Even so, Cavs fans should be at least a little encouraged by such a strong denial. It doesn’t mean he’s staying, but it certainly doesn’t hurt.