Stephen A. Smith is one of the most outspoken people on the planet, which, in his line of work, pays him a lot of money. It’s just that, with all the absurd things that spews out of his mouth, it can be difficult to take him seriously.
If you’re a Cleveland Cavs fan, though, what he said on ESPN’s First Take the other day should be taken extremely seriously. According to Stephen A., he has heard that LeBron James could bolt Cleveland again if he leads his squad to an NBA title this season, fulfilling the promise he wrote in his return letter from 2014.
Per NBC Sports:
“I’ll drop one other tidbit of information, because people have been ignoring what I’ve been saying. I’ve hinted around it for months as you well know. But I’m going to say this again.
LeBron James promised the city of Cleveland, ‘I’m coming back to bring you that elusive title that has escaped this city since 1964.’ He never said anything about staying once he does accomplish that.
I’m in Miami last week. I’m in Miami a few months ago. Skip Bayless, I’m hearing about a return to Miami if this man wins. He ain’t going nowhere if he loses. But, if he wins, his options are open. LA, but especially Miami, a return to South Beach.
Look man, there’s a lot going on. And there’s a lot riding on him winning. Losing changes everything, because it keeps there in Cleveland. But more importantly, it keeps him stuck, because he knows he can’t leave until he fulfills his promise. And if you can’t because you’re not a champion, that’s far worse than just choosing to stay because you want to.
It’s going to get very interesting. Keep your eyes on it.”
Again, Smith’s job is to stir up as much controversy as possible, but this is still scary as all fuck for Cavs fans who envision James, Kyrie Irving, Kevin Love and others starting a dynasty that lasts for several seasons.
Plus, as crazy as this all sounds, no one expected LeBron to, “take his talents to South Beach” on live TV in 2010, nor did many predict he’d return to Northeast Ohio in 2014 after four-straight trips to the NBA Finals with the Heat, so who really knows what the four-time MVP could do?
It’s pretty impossible to think James wouldn’t stick around if the team earns a championship in the next couple of weeks—even with all the subtweets and bullshit that happened during the regular season. Cavs fans are on notice, though, because a dark cloud may soon return over the city.