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Would LeBron James return to Cleveland for a third time?

The King dropped some hints about his future at All-Star Weekend.

2022 NBA All-Star - Practice & Media Availability
LeBron James of Team LeBron shoots during the NBA All-Star practice at the Wolstein Center on February 19, 2022 in Cleveland, Ohio.
Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images

Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James returned to Cleveland, Ohio this weekend as part of the NBA’s All-Star festivities. James is an Akron native and even played for his hometown Cleveland Cavaliers in two separate stints, giving the franchise a title in the 2015-16 season. James is at the tail-end of his Hall of Fame career and his future is under a lot of speculation, especially with son Bronny James seemingly destined to join the league soon. There is even a report of James wanting to team up with his son no matter where that was.

Those rumors will continue to swirl after James’ comments at All-Star Weekend, where he routinely mentioned other players and front office personnel as a subtle jab at the Lakers current situation. LA sits four games under .500 and is currently in the play-in tournament mix, something nobody could have predicted at the beginning of the season. It makes sense for James to be frustrated and voice his feelings, with Cleveland serving as the perfect backdrop for him to do so.

And then there’s this quote, which James relayed via The Athletic.

“The door’s not closed on that,” James said. “I’m not saying I’m coming back and playing, I don’t know. I don’t know what my future holds. I don’t even know when I’m free.”

The irony is James knows exactly when he’s “free” and has timed every move of his with this knowledge. He had a hand in constructing this roster, which hasn’t worked out as planned. Anthony Davis, the superstar he wanted to team up with, has been dealing with injuries left and right. The Lakers are struggling at the moment and don’t have much room to add game-changing talent.

Even with his advanced age, James is still considered one of the top players in the league and has a draw outside of his on-court skills. He loves LA for his businesses outside of basketball, but he’s already come back to Cleveland once. Could he do it again for a third stint alongside a budding young core for one last swan song?