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Cavs Rumors: LeBron Leaving After This Season Due to ‘Political Disconnect’ With Dan Gilbert
- Updated: April 6, 2018
The prospect of LeBron James leaving the Cleveland Cavaliers after the 2017-18 NBA season comes to an end has been the subject of rumors over the past year. Despite all of the past talk serving as mere speculation, one journalist is going much further by actually stating that James will be playing for another team next season.
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
Sheridan reinforced his claim in his current article, which is neatly tied to the fact that James and the Cavaliers play in Philadelphia on Friday night. That aspect should offer the article maximum impact, with Sheridan providing the following background as evidence:
“When the information was given to me, my source said: ‘The entire NBA knows it. The only people who don’t are the media.'”
While James may very well choose to go elsewhere in free agency, Sheridan’s main reason for that departure appears to be a big stretch: the political divide between James and Cavs owner Dan Gilbert over President Donald Trump.
“The No. 1 reason why this is going to happen is because Cavs owner Dan Gilbert is a huge Trump supporter; LeBron is not,” Sheridan wrote.
“It is a matter of public record that Gilbert donated $750,000 to President Trump’s inauguration fund.”
Of course, the reality of the situation is that if politics is going to drive James’ decision on where to go, he could be hard-pressed to find a good fit among many of the other billionaire basketball owners.
Despite that obvious drawback, Sheridan also cited his past history with respect to James’ free agency moves in 2010 and 2014 in an effort to bolster his current claim:
“I have never backed off my LeBron tweet, just as I did not back off my James story in 2014 when I had it nailed 48 hours before anyone else,” Sheridan wrote. “Because memories are short, I was pretty damn sure James was headed to Miami in 2010 before he went on TV with Jim Gray on ESPN and announced what has come to be known as ‘The Decision.'”
James and Gilbert have coexisted for virtually all of his Cavaliers career. While their ugly breakup in 2010 has never really healed, it didn’t stop James from returning to Cleveland four years ago and leading the Cavs to the franchise’s first-ever title in 2016.
Free agency officially begins on July 1, which means that more stories about where James end up will surface. None of the people making predictions truly know what James will do, which means that patience seems like the best road to take until that time.