Will Lebron Leave Cleveland Again?
When the game clock expired on game five of the NBA Finals and the Golden State Warriors began celebrating their championship, Lebron James went over and congratulated Kevin Durant on his first title.
James quickly exited the court and, on his way to the locker room, hugged his Cleveland Cavalier teammate Kyrie Irving. “We’ll be back,” James said to Irving.
Barring injury, it seemed that an NBA Finals matchup between the Warriors and Cavaliers was inevitable for the next few seasons. Fans and some NBA observers began calling the Warriors-Cavaliers rivalry the modern-day version of the old Lakers-Celtics rivalry.
Sure, the Warriors dominated the Cavaliers in the Finals. That was hardly a surprise, but now it was the Cavaliers turn to retool and reload their roster.
It came as a surprise to many when, just one week into the off-season, the Cavaliers fired their General Manager, David Griffin.
Griffin was a favorite of James. He was also the man responsible for putting together the 2015-16 Cavaliers team that won its first-ever NBA championship.
Griffin was in the middle of working on a deal with the Chicago Bulls that would have given the Cavaliers Jimmy Butler when it was announced that he would not return as the Cavaliers GM.
With James not happy about Griffin’s dismissal there is now a sense that the Cavaliers organization is a sinking ship.
James is set to become a free agent after next season there are now rumors that he may indeed leave the Cavaliers, just like in 2010. James has a home in Los Angeles which has set off rumors that he may be interested in joining either the Clippers or the Lakers.
Irving has reportedly made it known that he may force a trade out of Cleveland if James leaves in 2018.
Forward Kevin Love is constantly the subject of trade rumors.
When James returned to Cleveland in 2014, he didn’t promise a championship. Instead, he preached patience from the fans and from himself.
The Cavaliers did the improbable and rallied from a 3-1 deficit to defeat the Warriors in the NBA Finals in 2016. That win forever put James in the good graces of those in Northeast Ohio.
If James does decide to leave next year it won’t sting the fans as bad as it did in 2010 because James was able to deliver the city of Cleveland its first professional championship since 1964.
Less than two weeks ago the Cavaliers seemed as if it would be in championship contention until James retired. Something that probably wouldn’t be for at least another five or six seasons.
Now there is a possibility that this coming up season will be the last for the James-Irving-Love Cavaliers. Stay tuned.