The NBA posted a video on its official YouTube page chronicling the Cavaliers' loss to the Heat in Miami on Christmas Day. While the result is old news, the final 10 seconds of the video brings to light an intriguing quote from LeBron James.
The holiday's marquee matchup doubled as James' first official return to South Beach since joining the Cavaliers in free agency this summer.
Near the end of the video, James and former teammate Dwyane Wade share an embrace on the court following the final buzzer. In the final 10 seconds of the clip, James can be overheard saying something to Wade regarding future plans of some kind.
(Start watching at the 2:40 mark)
A poster on Reddit NBA transcribed the remarks according to what he heard:
Listen to this link carefully - Did LeBron say to Wade on Christmas: "Like I said, if we aren't better this year, we're gonna re-unite again and do some bigger and better things, alright?"
The audio is the latest thorn in the side of the Cavaliers (18-13), who sit in fifth place in the Eastern Conference and are in the midst of controversy. Reports have surfaced questioning head coach David Blatt's control of the locker room as well as the possibility that James could consider leaving Cleveland if "his hand is forced" after the season.
It's easy to see how that context, coupled with James' words, can lead to some anxious fans drawing negative conclusions from the video.
The most daring assumption of all would be that James is either hinting at the possibility of returning to Miami or reuniting with Wade away from Cleveland. But it's also possible, for instance, that James is talking about off-the-court plans, or something else unrelated to basketball.
On Wednesday, James admitted remembering that he said, "We'll get back together and do some bigger and better things," but denied that the comment had anything to do with basketball.
"I mean, if I was going to tell him that, I'd tell him the night before. Come on, guys, I'm not stupid. ... I wouldn't say that on Christmas with a hundred cameras around. I would have told him the night before at his house. ... But it had nothing to do with leaving here and reuniting with him. It had everything to do with just talking about other things more than just basketball."
One possibility of James' intentions floated by a former Heat beat writer is that James could have been talking about a potential partnership as owners.
In any case, the video likely won't alleviate any concerns about the Cavaliers and James' future in Cleveland.