Will LeBron’s Loyalty Keep Him in Cleveland?
The Cavaliers hope economic and family ties to his home state will keep James in Ohio.
With all of the talk about LeBron James possibly taking his talents to the Los Angeles Lakers to enhance his Hollywood options or heading to Houston to team with James Harden and Chris Paul on the Rockets, a dark horse candidate for his service has emerged: his current team, the Cavaliers.
Of his 15 seasons in the NBA, 11 of them have been spent in Cleveland and James’ ties to the area (economic and otherwise), as well as those of his young family, run deep.
The Cavs are hoping those connections will turn out to be the kind that bind and that 33-year-old James, who is expected to turn down his $35.6 million contract option for next season, will commit to stay in Cleveland thanks to sentimental attachments and sign a new deal.
Before the playoffs, that idea seemed ludicrous, but after a run where he averaged 34 points, 9.1 rebounds, and 9.0 assists, it’s possible James’ love for Northeast Ohio has been reignited.
The Cavaliers, and relatively new general manager Koby Altman, are counting on it.
“He gave his heart and soul, die-hard energy, commitment to this team, to this franchise, to the city, to Northeast Ohio,” Altman said last week at the draft. “It was a historical year and probably one of the best postseason runs of all time. We’re very, very fortunate to have him here and what he gave to this franchise this year was nothing short of remarkable.”
The Cavs should be praying James feels the same way.
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