LeBron James is not guaranteed to retire in a Cleveland Cavaliers uniform, according to ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith.
Back in 2010, James received a lot of criticism for “The Decision” but won back a lot of Cleveland fans when he returned to the Cavaliers in 2014. According to Smith, James could make an untimely bolt if the Cavaliers organization took the superstar forward for granted.
“What everybody who’s close to him continuously reminds me of is: ‘don’t you dare take LeBron for granted or think he’s trapped into staying in Cleveland just because he came back,” Smith said during a recent interview with ESPN Radio’s Jorge and Izzy.
Essentially, it’s within the best interest of Cavs GM David Griffin and owner Dan Gilbert to keep James “happy” during his second go around with his home franchise, opined Smith. “Don’t put it past him (LeBron) that he’ll get so annoyed that he’ll leave again if he feels like he’s being taken for granted, ran into the ground and, essentially, misused.”
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Recently, James subtly hinted (via Twitter) that Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love lacked the toughness and hunger to take the next step – towards bringing the city of Cleveland its first major sports championship in over five decades.
In fact, James also made subtle gestures that he missed his time in Miami Heat where he won two championships with future hall-of-famer and good friend, Dwyane Wade.
On Friday, Smith echoed the same comments on ESPN First Take. “I will tell you this: LeBron never once promised to retire a Cleveland Cavalier. His mission is to come back and deliver a Championship to the city of Cleveland, I don’t see him departing before that happens unless he believes there’s no hope or something else happens with Dan Gilbert.”
If there’s one athlete who can bring a championship to Cleveland, it’s LeBron James. Unfortunately for the city, LeBron has to get past the historically-great Golden State Warriors and/or the San Antonio Spurs.