LeBron James’ relationship with the Cleveland Cavaliers had soured so greatly this offseason, that for the first time in his second stint back in Ohio, it seemed like the rumors of his taking his talents elsewhere were justified.
Now a reliable source says it’s all but over, that LeBron will explore free agency in 2018 and play for another team.
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
As probably should be expected, LeBron’s camp quickly refuted veteran reporter Chris Sheridan’s claim.
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
But there’s plenty of reason to trust Sheridan on this one.
Back in 2014, for about 36 hours Sheridan was virtually the only member of the NBA media claiming that LeBron would be leaving the Miami Heat to return to the Cavs, who drafted him in 2003. He damn near bet his career on it.
“The Decision has been made. LeBron James is returning to the Cleveland Cavaliers, a league source tells SheridanHoops.com,” he wrote on July 9, 2014.
“James met with Miami Heat president Pat Riley today in Las Vegas to deliver the news. A contingent of other Heat officials were informed they were not welcome at the meeting, according to a source who spoke on condition of anonymity.”
Two days later, on July 11, Sports Illustrated released an interview with LeBron that explained and revealed the decision that Sheridan had already uncovered.
“When I left Cleveland, I was on a mission,” James told SI. “I was seeking championships, and we won two. But Miami already knew that feeling. Our city hasn’t had that feeling in a long, long, long time. My goal is still to win as many titles as possible, no question. But what’s most important for me is bringing one trophy back to Northeast Ohio.”
Where to next? Well in the same interview, LeBron shared that wherever he went in 2014, he’d need the support of his wife Savannah Brinson first. And now she reportedly wants to live in Los Angeles, full time.