Disclaimer: There is a 99.9% chance of this not happening.
Fresh off delivering Cleveland its first championship in over five decades, LeBron James is celebrating in an Ultimate Warrior t-shirt and a hat with a frog sipping tea, like he should be doing. After coming back from a 3-1 deficit to arguably the greatest team in league history, returning to Cleveland should be a no-brainer for LeBron.
Not according to ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith. (h/t Harrison Faigen of Silver Screen & Roll)
“I’m hearing that its a huge possibility that if he leaves Cleveland the Lakers could be in the mix.” – Stephen A. Smith on ESPN’s ‘First Take’
It is absurd to consider LeBron leaving Cleveland again. After fulfilling his promise to ‘The Land’, James should be dead set on defending the franchise’s first NBA Title. That’s not to say he will spend the rest of career with the Cavs, making his desire to play “somewhere warm” with his friends well-known.
Adrian Wojnarowski of the Vertical touched on this matter:
One more victory, one more magnificent night at Oracle Arena, and James will get to run off with his buddies again somewhere warm. Miami. Los Angeles. Wherever. There’s a restlessness about James that craves the next big move, the next power play. Franchises are on watch again, believing nothing’s forever in Northeast Ohio. Sooner or later, there’s a belief that James comes into play again, a line of thinking that his inner circle has done nothing to dissuade. As for James himself, well, he has gone so far as to publicly describe an end-of-career scenario that doesn’t include Cleveland.
As for Smith, stated by SS&R’s Faigen, this isn’t the first time he has spoken on a potential departure by James. In fact, he was one of the first to report James leaving Cleveland and his eventual return. This isn’t the usual “a broken clock is right twice a day” scenario, albeit similar. Smith is prominently known as one of the industry’s biggest attention-seekers, but some of the stuff he reports does have merit.
In order for LeBron to come to the Lakers, he would need to leave the Cavs first. And to simply state it, that’s not happening.