Let me start by saying the following: Don't shoot the messenger!
When it comes to LeBron James, I do not like to partake in what I view as 'carnival barking' by members of the national media and pundits who are convinced that the Cavs superstar couldn't possibly be happy in Northeastern Ohio and wants to get out again.
However, when I saw the following tweet from Chris Sheridan of SheridanHoops.com on Wednesday afternoon, I thought it was important enough to share:
NBA source said today: "This will be LeBron's final season in Cleveland. He is 100 percent leaving. Relationship with owners beyond repair."— Chris Sheridan (@sheridanhoops) August 16, 2017
Just some background on Chris if you're not familiar with him. He's a veteran NBA writer who has worked for the Associated Press and ESPN before starting up his own site.
Back in 2014, Sheridan was among the first to put it out there that James was returning to Cleveland. He put this tweet out there two days before James' announcement via Sports Illustrated.
It's no secret that LeBron and Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert have had a tumultuous relationship since James' departure via 'The Decision' in 2010. Earlier this year, the four-time MVP admitted that it was hard to get past the fiery letter that Gilbert wrote after James left for Miami.
This offseason has been filled with plenty of drama for the Wine and Gold in the aftermath of their NBA Finals loss to the Golden State Warriors. The team parted ways with General Manager David Griffin, failed to add targeted star players Paul George and Jimmy Butler, and are dealing with a soap opera between James and Kyrie Irving, who has asked to be traded.
Also, ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported this week that while the Cavs haven't yet given up on re-signing James, who can opt out of the final year of his three-year contract next summer, they are proceeding in trade talks centered around Irving as if he's not the only star they'll be losing in the next year.
Cleveland.com Cavs beat writer Joe Vardon has reacted to Sheridan's reports with the following tweets:
For what it's worth (damn it, I'm on vacation), three sources close to LeBron said this latest tweet about him is 100 percent false— Joe Vardon (@joevardon) August 16, 2017
I have more: three sources paid particular attention to LeBron's relationship with ownership, and said LeBron does not view it that way— Joe Vardon (@joevardon) August 16, 2017
And finally, one of the sources close to LeBron said there is no NBA source who could speak on his behalf in the way it was reported— Joe Vardon (@joevardon) August 16, 2017
Take all of this with how many grains of salt that you choose.