LeBron James still holds a special place in the hearts of Cleveland fans, even though he no longer plays for their team. The Cavaliers recently honored him with a fantastic video showcasing his scoring achievements. This visit marked LeBron’s first return to Cleveland since becoming the all-time leading scorer in February, surpassing Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.
Throughout his career, LeBron has shown impressive stats against the Cavaliers, averaging 30.4 points, 8.4 rebounds, and 6.9 assists in eight games with the Lakers. He has a solid 6-2 record with the Lakers against the Cavaliers.
The tribute video not only recognizes LeBron as the four-time MVP but also celebrates his pivotal role in bringing the Cavaliers their first and only title in 2016. With five appearances in the NBA Finals for the Cavaliers, the video serves as a captivating reminder of LeBron’s impact, featuring unique clips not often seen in his highlight reels.
LeBron James Faces Career Crossroads: What’s Next for the NBA Superstar?
Should the 38-year-old spend his last playing years with the Los Angeles Lakers? Seek a team with a better chance of winning a championship? Consider Kyrie Irving’s desire and facilitate a trade to the Dallas Mavericks? Or perhaps join the team that drafts Bronny next year?
Is LeBron James still in championship mode, actively pursuing more titles? Or is he satisfied with winding down his career by filming Hollywood commercials and collecting paychecks? In his words, “I’m still playing at an extremely high level. I’m not out there to mess around. What would I do that for? Me and (Tom) Brady. We’re the same people. We’re out there for championships.” LeBron emphatically stated that he is still driven to compete for championship rings.
Why LeBron James Returning to the Cleveland Cavaliers Makes Basketball Sense
As LeBron James nears retirement but still desires to compete for championships, another option emerges: returning home once again. The idea is explored in an article titled “Why LeBron James Should End His Career With the Cleveland Cavaliers.” Two decades later, the Cavs have established themselves as a formidable team. LeBron may have one more championship run in him, and this time joining the Cleveland would be purely about basketball. The Cavs currently boast significant star power on their roster.
Having recently won 51 games and holding the top defensive ranking in the NBA, the Cavs feature a core four players with an average age of 23.8 years. The only missing piece? An upgrade at small forward. LeBron is currently under contract with the Lakers for one more year at $46.9 million, with a player option for 2024-25 valued at $50.6 million.
LeBron James’ Path to NBA Ownership: Could Cleveland Cavaliers Be His Starting Point?
When LeBron James eventually decides to retire, he has been clear about his next career move: ownership. Back in 2017, he stated, “I will own a team someday. That’s my next thing.” Although he has expressed interest in owning an expansion team in Las Vegas, this might be a bold move, even for someone of James’ financial stature.
Considering the significant increase in the Las Vegas Raiders’ value post-relocation to nearly $5.1 billion, James might need to start with a smaller venture, perhaps in a market he’s familiar with and alongside an ownership group he can study for a few years. Cleveland could be a viable option.
As of Forbes’ rankings, the Cavaliers currently hold the 17th position in NBA franchise value at $2.05 billion. In contrast, teams in larger markets like the Golden State Warriors, New York Knicks, and Los Angeles Lakers are valued at $5.9 billion or more.
While the current owner of the Cleveland Cavaliers, Dan Gilbert, has not expressed interest in selling the team, he has taken a more hands-off approach in recent years due to health concerns. If Gilbert were to consider selling in the future, LeBron James could potentially assemble a willing ownership group.
Concerns Arise Over Safety of Cleveland Cavaliers’ Court: NBA Teams Urge League Review
During the second quarter of a Miami Heat blowout win over the Cavaliers, Heat guard Dru Smith suffered a season-ending severe sprain of his right ACL. The injury occurred as Smith jumped while playing defense, landing out of bounds, possibly sliding on a sheet of paper with first-quarter stats. Miami coach Erik Spoelstra labeled the Cleveland court as “dangerous,” citing a significant 10-inch drop from the basketball court to the thin sheet of rubber covering the hockey ice beneath.
Spoelstra expressed concerns about the court’s safety, suggesting it should be addressed by the league. The Heat contacted the NBA league office to convey their worries. It’s noted that there is no other NBA court with a similar drop.
Cleveland’s Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse hosts minor-league hockey and Disney on Ice, complicating the solution. The Lakers, the first team to play in Cleveland since Smith’s injury, discussed the incident during their morning walkthrough. LeBron James, who spent 11 seasons in Cleveland, deemed Smith’s injury “unfortunate” and agreed with Spoelstra and the Heat, asserting that the league should address safety concerns with the floor.
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