Stephen A. Smith Says LeBron James Signed With Heat Because He Was ‘Betrayed’ by Cavs

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When LeBron James first left the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2010, many fans felt let down and even went as far as to burn his Cavs jersey.

Cavs owner Dan Gilbert also penned an angry farewell describing James’ leaving as an act of “cowardly betrayal.”

However, ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith claims that it was the organization who first betrayed James, which partly led to James signing with the Miami Heat.

“There were personal issues going on with LeBron James and his teammates,” said Smith. “He was disrespected and he was flat-out betrayed. I don’t give a damn what anybody says, and he would probably never speak about it. Some people are going to call me a liar, whatever. I don’t give a damn. I’m telling you what I know. He was betrayed by some of his teammates and that Cleveland organization, and that played a role into why he left Cleveland to go to Miami.”

Smith did not go into too much detail on how the Cavs supposedly betrayed James prior to the 2010 offseason. Maybe the organization’s inability to find James the necessary help, such as another star in his prime to play with, was Smith’s point.

Afterall, with the Heat, James had All-Stars Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh as teammates.

Considering Smith’s passion on the issue, however, the betrayal that he alluded to seems to be more than just a failure to acquire talent.

For James and the Cavs, all’s well that ends well. James eventually returned home in 2014 and delivered the city a championship in 2016.

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Orel is a freelance writer who is passionate about the NBA. He has followed the league since the late '90s and found increased interest in it in 2003 – when an 18-year-old prodigy from Akron, Ohio took the league by storm.