LeBron James Sends Strong Message on Return to Former Team

Lakers star LeBron James.

Getty Images Lakers star LeBron James.

LeBron James has not “closed the door” on a return to the Cleveland Cavaliers and has revved up speculation about his eventual Los Angeles Lakers departure.

While speaking to Jason Lloyd of The Atheltic during All-Star Weekend, James gave an open-ended answer when asked about a return to Cleveland.

“The door’s not closed on that,” James told The Athletic. “I’m not saying I’m coming back and playing, I don’t know. I don’t know what my future holds. I don’t even know when I’m free.”

James spent two different stints with his hometown team. He was drafted by the Cavaliers No. 1 overall in in 2003, establishing himself as a superstar and leading the Cavs deep into the postseason multiple times. After some time with the Heat, LeBron returned and led the way as Cleveland won the title in 2016.

James Impressed With Cavaliers This Season

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The statement comes with interesting timing from James. When he left Cleveland the team suffered three consecutive miserable seasons, notching 60 wins in three seasons. but all of a sudden, Cleveland is good again, firmly in the Eastern Conference race at 35-23. With some young talent, James could see an opportunity to return and make a run at a title.

“I think Koby and those guys have done an unbelievable job drafting and making trades,” James said. “I think big fella (Jarrett Allen), that acquisition was amazing for them to make that trade. Obviously, Darius Garland is a big-time player. And I think the role that Kevin (Love) is playing right now has kind of uplifted those young guys, seeing a veteran that could sacrifice, a champion that’s won a championship, all the things that he’s done, to come off the bench and play this role. I am not surprised by anything that they’re doing right now.”

James even dubbed himself Cleveland’s third All-Star.

I mean, Cleveland is very deserving of this platform and this moment. They got two All-Stars of their own in the game in D.G. (Darius Garland) and the big fella, Jarrett Allen. And they got another guy in the All-Star, and that’s me. It’s great, man. I’m Pushin’ P, capital P, you know? That’s what I’m doing.

Lakers Struggling Despite James’ Heroics

The Lakers sit at 27-31 and are currently the No. 9 seed in the West. That’s with LeBron James averaging a 29.1 points, 7.9 rebounds and 6.5 assists. The Lakers made a blockbuster move this offseason for Russell Westbrook, but it hasn’t worked out. The team also stood pat at the trade deadline, which James has drop some subtle criticism of.

James has one year left on his deal with the Lakers and after that things are up in the air. However, James has made one thing clear — his final year in the league will be playing alongside his son, Bronny James, who won’t be draft eligible for two more years.

“My last year will be played with my son,” James said. “Wherever Bronny is at, that’s where I’ll be. I would do whatever it takes to play with my son for one year. It’s not about the money at that point.”

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