LeBron James is probably the biggest household name in the NBA today. With such celebrity status comes plenty of rumours and speculations, some of which isn't helped by his penchant for posting cryptic posts on social media.
But, that's all part of the game for King James. As one of the most polarising figures in the sport, he constantly garners attention whether it be for his on the court greatness or simple just trying to predict what LeBron wants to do next.
This rumour stems from the latter. James has a player option in his Cleveland Cavaliers contract meaning he can either opt-in and pick up just over $24 million with his hometown franchise next season, or he can opt-out and explore his options.
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The four-time MVP has long stated that it is his mission to bring a title to Cleveland. James grew up in Akron, Ohio and that's only 20 minutes away from the Quicken Loans Arena where he plies his trade today.
After starting his career with the Cavaliers, he took a four-year sabbatical to the Miami Heat and picked up his only two NBA championship rings to date. As fulfilling as those victories were, they will remain rather hollow to James personally if he can't deliver it on home soil.
However, the Cavaliers have been fantastic in this year's postseason. After opening up the playoffs with 10 straight wins, they have dropped the last two games of their Eastern Conference Finals series with the Toronto Raptors to sit all square at 2-2. They play gane five at home on Wednesday and if they can navigate their way past the Raptors and then win the Finals, it's believed that James may call time on his career in Ohio.
On a recent episode of ESPN’s “First Take,” Stephen A. Smith said he has been told LeBron would consider returning to the Miami Heat if the Cavs go all the way this year.
“LeBron James promised the city of Cleveland, ‘I’m coming back to bring you that elusive title that has escaped this city since 1964,'” Smith said, as transcribed by Dan Feldman of Pro Basketball Talk. “He never said anything about staying once he does accomplish that.
“I’m in Miami last week. I’m in Miami a few months ago. Skip Bayless, I’m hearing about a return to Miami if this man wins. He ain’t going nowhere if he loses. But, if he wins, his options are open. LA, but especially Miami, a return to South Beach.”
Rumours have circulated before that the 12-time All-Star might opt-out if the Cavs failed to surround him with the appropriate supporting cast to challenge for the title. But precious little has been speculated about his intentions once he delivers said title.
It's interesting, and there would obviously be more opportunities later in his career in L.A to carry on acting, whilst his good friend Dwyane Wade remains in Miami. Not to mention, both cities are more attractive to live in than Cleveland.
Still, one has to consider that given James' status, this could all very well be nothing more than speculative from Smith.