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Sports

Ivey: Cavaliers chaos could cause LeBron to leave again

| Wednesday, January 24, 2018

It hasn’t been a great couple of weeks for the Cleveland Cavaliers.

The Cavaliers have a record of 3-8 since their Christmas Day defeat to the Golden State Warriors and have fallen to third in the Eastern Conference behind the Boston Celtics and the Toronto Raptors.

Last Saturday, the Cavaliers were defeated 148-124 at home by the Oklahoma City Thunders with all-star power forward Kevin Love missing most of that game and the team practice the day after due to illness.

On Monday, NBA insider and ESPN reporter Adrian Wojnarowski tweeted that during a team meeting many Cavaliers players questioned the legitimacy of Love’s sickness.

Wojinarowski also tweeted: “In a locker room increasingly full of finger-pointing, Love defended himself and explained his side to teammates, coaches and management, sources said. At end of meeting, there was a sense with some that team had worked out some issues, but that ultimately remains to be seen.”

This is not good. Actually, it’s pretty bad.

This isn’t the first time Love has been the center of controversy during his time in Cleveland. Back in February 2015, LeBron James threw a speculated indirect shot at Love, tweeting: “Stop trying to find a way to FIT-OUT and just FIT-IN. Be apart of something special! Just my thoughts.”

The tweet was during LeBron and Love’s first year together in Cleveland. After all this, LeBron developed a feud with another one of his All-Star teammates, Kyrie Irving. Whatever happened between the two, it led to Irving getting traded from the Cavaliers to the Celtics for Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic and a 2018 first round draft pick.

Now, LeBron’s alleged feud with Kevin Love has flared up again. Whether or not Love stays in Cleveland obviously remains to be seen, but an even better question to ask might be this: Will LeBron decide to leave again?

He has to be getting tired of all this head-butting with his fellow All-Star teammates, and it isn’t like he has to stay in Cleveland to find success.

He famously left the Cavaliers in 2010 to join the Miami Heat, but came back in the summer of 2014 in order to win a championship in his hometown. He did just that in 2016, to go along with two Finals losses to the Warriors in 2015 and 2017.

With the Warriors showing no signs of stopping their dominance, coupled with the emergence of teams like the Celtics and Rockets and the growing tension and drama unfolding in the Cavs’ locker room, is it all that crazy to think LeBron might weigh his options and look to improve his situation after this season?

He can opt out of his current contract and become an unrestricted free agent this summer.

One team he has been linked heavily to is the Los Angeles Lakers, who have plenty of cap space to sign free agents.

Ultimately, whatever ends up happening will depend a lot on how the Cavaliers play the rest of this season. They’ve had a rough couple of weeks, but we’ve seen this before. They’ll go on a mini losing streak during January before going on an absolute tear during February and March to climb up the standings before once again making the NBA Finals. That can obviously happen again this season.

However, these recent reports and drama in the locker room could add a detrimental element to this Cavaliers season and, possibly, affect LeBron’s decision this summer.

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