Perhaps the greatest moment in Cleveland sports history was LeBron James’ unforgettable “Cleveland, this is for you!” shoutout following the Cavaliers’ historic comeback from a 3-1 deficit in the 2016 NBA Finals.
LBJ has since departed The Land and added to his ring registry with the Lakers, but the memory of his Finals victory, GOAT-worthy block and subsequent tears of joy will forever be etched into the city’s heart.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, speculation has begun to swirl about a possible homecoming reunion between “The King” and the place where it all began.
In Shannon Sharpe’s mind, the only way it comes to fruition is if Cleveland acquires Bronny James once he’s eligible in 2024.
“If they draft Bronny, [I could see it happening],” Sharpe said Monday on “Undisputed.” “Right now, obviously, [LeBron] wants to win a title, but he’s made it abundantly clear that he’s going to try to hang around and play with his son. He realizes what a unique experience that would be, and he wants to try to make that happen.
“There’s no need to rush. He has until next year to sign an extension. The only leverage he has is his service, in that ‘I might take my services elsewhere after the season if I don’t feel we’re doing everything we possibly can to win’, but I don’t see him going to Cleveland after this season, unless Bronny can go straight to the NBA.”
Though Sharpe didn’t see James reopening closed doors, he did float the possibility of James leaving L.A. after this season.
“He might leave,” Sharpe said. “He’s not under contract after this season. He’s going to do what’s in his best interest, not Jeanie Buss’.”
Skip Bayless couldn’t envision James leaving Tinseltown in the near future.
“Jeanie Buss believes he’s returning too,” he said. “I believe for the first time in LeBron’s career, he has zero leverage. He used to have all the leverage, play it so beautifully, create doubt and play hard to get. And every move he made was within the system. Now, I think he’s stuck because everybody believes he’s going to finish in L.A.
“To me, LeBron plays two more years for the Lakers, so why wouldn’t Thursday he just say, ‘let’s do two years?'”
Bayless was referring to the two-year, $97 million extension James becomes eligible for Aug. 4, something he has yet to reveal publicly whether he’ll sign.
The Lakers went 33-49 last season, missing the playoffs as LeBron, Anthony Davis and Russell Westbrook battled injuries and failed to mesh.
Will L.A. be LeBron’s home for the next two years, or is a change of scenery on the horizon?
Will LeBron leave Lakers for third stint with Cavs?
Skip Bayless and Shannon Sharpe predict whether or not they see LeBron leaving L.A. for his third stint in Cleveland.
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