Not Even Brian Windhorst Knows Why LeBron James Would Do That

David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

LeBron James was courtside Monday night to watch his Cleveland Cavaliers — because they still are and will always sort of be his Cleveland Cavaliers — see any remaining hope drift away at the hands of the Boston Celtics. It looked like he alternated between water, coffee, and wine (but not, seemingly, ranch) without much trouble because he's capable of multitasking. And a lot of people couldn't help but wonder if he was doing multiple things at once by showing up at one of his own title haunts and becoming the center of attention.

That it wasn't simply a matter of watching some high-level Eastern Conference semifinals action but instead the first step in a masterplan tied together with string on some corkboard.

There aren't really any solid answers right now because only James knows. He's an incredibly savvy operator. Therefore, if he was trying to send a message to Los Angeles Lakers' brass that the grass could potentially be greener elsewhere he'd do it with some plausible deniability instead of commissioning Akron's own Goodyear Blimp to deliver that message.

Just because there's no answer doesn't mean the questions stop. Brian Windhorst, our nation's foremost expert on why-would-they-do-that matters, was called into ESPN's Unsportsmanlike Radio Tuesday morning and asked why James would do that. He revealed that several NBA executives are familiar with memes but ultimately, he doesn't and won't pretend to know what LeBron showing up was all about.

“I will say this, the first thing I thought of was this moment 10 years ago where LeBron showed up to a game in Cleveland while he was a player for the Miami Heat to honor Zydrunas Ilgauskas’ jersey retirement, his longtime teammate," Windhorst said. "And he got in a private plane, flew from Chicago over to Cleveland on an off night. Pat Riley was not happy. And a few months later he signed with the Cavs… He's extremely strategic and I wish I could tell you I knew exactly what he is doing. I don't pretend to know, but he's gotta be up to something.”

Up to something is brilliantly vague and covers all the bases. While technically true, it doesn't reveal much. When someone's children are playing in the other room and there's a loud crash, no parent is going to be satisfied with 'oh, we're just up to something' as an explanation for what's going on in there. The specifics are important because it could be a chair or a grandfather clock that fell and it could have been an innocent accident or dastardly premeditated.

Even if James was simply hanging out in Northeast Ohio, which is lovely this time of year and the Guardians are playing awesome baseball, that's something he's up to. But that's way different than trying to run a complex, Christopher Nolan-dense teleplay to script his situation for next season. Time will tell. Or it won't. No one knows. But it has to be discussed because he's LeBron.


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Kyle K

KYLE KOSTER