LeBron Watch: A Timeline of Events Linking LeBron James Back Home To Cleveland Cavaliers
The Cavaliers are back in action tonight after the glitz and glamour of NBA All-Star Weekend has died down.
Despite the red carpet being wrapped up for now, there's still time for LeBron James homecoming chatter before the Cavs continue their playoff push. Let's look at a timeline of events that link The Kid From Akron back to the Cavs.
LeBron Selects Darius Garland in NBA All-Star Draft
February 11, 2022.
LeBron James selected Cavs guard Darius Garland as his second overall pick to join Team LeBron for the NBA All-Star Game in Cleveland.
"Garland's untouchable, man," James told opposing superstar Kevin Durant who tried trading for him.
LeBron went on to explain that he has left Cleveland twice, and he needed Garland as ammo to head back to Ohio for the All-Star Game. This was just the beginning of a jampacked news cycle.
LeBron Arrives in Cleveland
February 18, 2022.
In 100 years, Instagram posts will fill textbooks across America to embark on historical events.
While this Instagram post from LeBron might not be archived on any classroom shelves, James was wearing a gold shirt and a wine jacket. Cavs colors, anyone? Posing in the February snowstorm, he captioned, "The Hometown Kid is Back!"
LeBron's Media Availability
February 19, 2022.
"The Cavs should be proud to have three All-Stars. Garland, Allen, and me."
I still really can't fathom why he said that. I know what he meant. But the way it comes across is extremely interesting. But at the core of this comment, it's just more flirting.
LeBron Doesn't Shut The Door On A Return
February 20, 2022.
Here's where things get wild.
At this point, we knew the admiration LeBron has for this young team. He even spoke highly of new President of Basketball Operations, Koby Altman. But he point-blank stated that a return is not out of the question.
There's some big time implications that arose here, as this quote put the conversation on a national stage. He also wants to play basketball with his son, Bronny, who is draft eligble in 2024 at the earliest. Any team that drafts the son will get the father. James would turn 40 that season.
LeBron James Walks Off NBA All-Star Game
February 20, 2022.
This doesn't mean much of anything. It was just a cool moment for him to hit the game-winner in Cleveland. Oh yeah, he posted another Instagram video of the clip captioned, "Cleveland this is for you. Again."
Klutch Rift With Rob Pelinka
February 21, 2022.
The Lakers didn't make any noise at the NBA trade deadline. And that reportedly frustrated LeBron James and Rich Paul of Klutch Sports. There's a tension between the Lakers brass and James's agency, according to Marc Stein.
That's never a good thing.
Savannah James Instagram Story
February 22, 2022.
When LeBron returned to the Cavs in 2014, Savannah posted a photo of Akron on a map with a star. This week, she posted a photo of Akron's skyline to her story where she wrote, "There's no place like home." Coincidence? Maybe. But that's one heck of a parallel.
Cleveland Cavaliers Internal Promotions
February 23, 2022.
Before All-Star Weekend, the Cavaliers promoted Altman to become President of Basketball Operations.
After that, they promoted Mike Gansey to become the GM. Gansey is a native of Olmsted Falls, Ohio and was runner-up in Mr. Basketball voting to LeBron James.
A deeper connection took place when Gansey's assistant GM was named, Brandon Weems. Weems was previously the senior director of player personnel, but more importantly, was high school teammates with LeBron at Saint Vincent-Saint Mary and they still remain personal friends. James even congratulated Weems in a tweet.
What's This All Mean?
In a vaccuum? Not a whole lot.
James is still under contract for 2022-23. He does not have a no-trade clause, but one would have to imagine it would take a haul to acquire him via trade, especially after the stalemate it just took to trade James Harden and Ben Simmons for each other.
James could return home after next season via unrestricted free agency. He'd be 39 then. James is going to do whatever he wants to do, Cleveland knows that better than anyone.
For now, let's sit back and enjoy these young Cleveland Cavaliers make a playoff push of their own. That playoff experience is what should matter most to this Cavs organization right now.
Be sure to follow betJACK on Instagram for all the latest during the NBA's stretch run and postseason.
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