Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James has been subject to a whirlwind of speculation since last season, centering on whether he does or doesn’t want to join the Los Angeles Lakers in free agency. And his latest comment on Staples Center is going to do nothing to quell those whispers.
The most-recent report painted James joining the Lakers as ‘a longshot,’ but that hasn’t done anything to stop the assumption that he’ll be Magic Johnson and Rob Pelinka’s first call of free agency on July 1, 2018.
So even though it normally wouldn’t be news, James talking about enjoying playing Christmas Day games in Staples Center within the context of all the noise about his free agency intentions is certainly worth paying attention to, via Cleveland.com:
“Playing in Staples Center is always a treat. I’ve never had an opportunity to play in the Garden, but playing in the Staples Center, I’ve been there quite a few times. It’s kind of always fun to be in L.A. and play in front of that crowd and have that atmosphere. I’ve only had, probably four games at home out of the 12, but being at Staples Center has always been pretty good.”
Again, this doesn’t mean that James is heading to the Lakers, as it’s actually no surprise he enjoys playing in L.A. on the holidays, because he’s done quite well there in his two visits.
In 2009, James scored 26 points as the Cavaliers blew out the Lakers, 102-87, in a win so dominant that Lakers fans threw their foam hand giveaways onto the court in frustration. James’ 2010 visit with the Miami Heat didn’t go much better for the Lakers.
James had a triple-double of 27 points, 11 rebounds, 10 assists and an angry exchange with Kobe Bryant as he spoiled Christmas for Lakers fans once again in a 96-80 Heat victory. This is where it’s dangerous to read to far into James’ words.
Is this a low-key diss of the Lakers, who he’s eviscerated on their home floor during the holidays? Or is James having a bit of a slip and revealing he likes to play in Los Angeles?
While it could be much ado about nothing, James continues to fuel speculation he’ll sign with the Lakers, whether praising Lonzo Ball, or now recalling fond Christmas Day memories.
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