There’s a buzz in this town.
It’s the type of buzz that can only be generated by one man: LeBron James.
In the past day, we’ve seen multiple warning signs that could indicate that James is actually open to returning to the Cavaliers. These signs could also just be big coincidences, but it just seems all too methodical for that to be the case.
As everyone knows, James is a free agent, having opted out of the final two years of his contract with the Miami Heat. He’s free to sign with anyone, and his agent Rich Paul has been scheduling meetings on his behalf.
So far, Paul has reportedly met with the Houston Rockets, Phoenix Suns, Dallas Mavericks, Los Angeles Lakers and, you guessed it, the Cleveland Cavaliers.
As a businessman and one of the most recognizable individuals in the world, it makes sense for James to keep his options open. These meetings could just be smoke and mirrors, and a precursor to an eventual return to Miami.
But remember where there’s smoke, there’s fire.
Cleveland fans have to hope that old saying holds true when it comes to James and the Cleveland Cavaliers.
While Paul’s meeting with the Cavaliers may be an example of James going through the motions and entertaining offers out of respect, social media on Friday suggests otherwise. Again, we’re only talking about Twitter and some simple tweets, but it’s important to make note of it.
At 11:27 last night, James tweeted the following:
— LeBron James (@KingJames) July 5, 2014
Okay, so he doesn’t even call Cleveland his home. But he does say he wishes he was there so he could celebrate this particular person’s birthday. Also, doesn’t James know better than to mention Cleveland in a tweet?
What makes this so intriguing is the fact that only one day earlier, @DaRealShow tweeted out the following:
Melo to Houston. Bron to Cleveland.
— Show Rose (@DaRealShow) July 3, 2014
Could @DaRealShow know something that we don’t? He’s clearly part of James’ inner circle, so that seems reasonable to believe.
Perhaps this is the case of where we’re grasping at straws. James has proven throughout the years that he loves attention and tweets like the one he sent out yesterday will garner plenty of that.
However, one other thing we know about James is that he regrets the way he handled free agency in 2010 and “The Decision.” He’s made that clear on multiple occasions, and that’s part of the reason as to why his agent is now handling his free agency meetings.
James vividly remembers the scenes of Clevelanders burning his jersey. He remembers the images of fans bawling on bar stools.
He knows this fan base is more sensitive than others and will latch onto anything. This article serves as proof of that.
James is a smart man and knows that a tweet that even remotely mentions Cleveland is going to create some kind of controversy. Would he really do that unless he was planting the seeds of something greater?
When James left Cleveland in 2010, he made it known that he had aspirations of being a global icon. Four years later, he is easily the most recognizable figure in sports, and his brand continues to grow by the day.
It likely would not have grown so quickly had he not taken on the role of the villain and then overcame that with four straight NBA Finals appearances as a member of the Miami Heat. It’s hard to believe his brand could become any more iconic, but there is a way.
A return to Cleveland immediately positions James as a hero — the Akron-native has returned home to make good on his promise of a championship. You can’t make this stuff up; this is a sports writer’s dream.
Who doesn’t get goosebumps at the thought of Diddy Dirty Money’s “Coming Home” playing on vignettes that celebrate the King’s return to the Land of Cleves?
James’ brand would become exponentially more profitable within seconds after he re-signs with Cleveland. It sounds crazy, but it’s a fact.
Here are some more facts.
The Cavaliers are filled with young assets. Star point guard Kyrie Irving is signed to a maximum extension. No. 1 overall draft pick Andrew Wiggins has the look a future star. Between young players like Dion Waiters, Anthony Bennett and Tristan Thompson, there is plenty of room for growth.
Here’s one final fact.
There is no better destination for James — both from a financial and competitive standpoint. If James returns, the Cavaliers are positioned to be contenders for years. He also cements himself as one of the greatest sport icons ever.
Let’s just hope James realizes that. Yes, his tweet yesterday may just be smoke and mirrors. But just remember that where there’s smoke, there’s fire.