After a report by ESPN’s Chris Haynes said LeBron James considered granting the Golden State Warriors a free agency meeting this offseason if the defending champions create enough salary cap space, James said there was no truth to those rumors. ESPN’s Dave McMenamin quotes the four-time MVP saying the rumors related to him playing for the Warriors next season are “nonsense” and that it is a “non-story.” Chris Sheridan, a veteran NBA scribe for ESPN, bashed the King and his inner circle after James’ comments on the initial report by ESPN.
Sheridan said through Twitter:
Alex Sabri ·
“Two things to remember regarding LeBron James’ upcoming free agency:
1. His camp loves making ESPN look bad. It dates back to ‘The Decision.’
2. His camp will tell outright lies to reporters, on or off the record, if they feel it is in LBJ’s best interest.”
There are a couple of takeaways from all of this. First, even if James thought of taking a free agency meeting with the Warriors, he would never admit it publicly. His Cleveland Cavaliers are already facing enough adversity on the court and the last thing they need is a statement of this sort. So what else is he supposed to say about the report?
Second, it is not a surprise that James and his people want to protect his interests. It makes a lot of sense that a professional athlete looks to do or say whatever is in his best interest. But just as he can lie about his thoughts on anything the media asks him, the media can also twist stories and information in such way that their story creates the biggest possible headline. Everybody is doing their job and protecting their interests, which should not surprise anyone.
Nobody knows for sure what James will do this offseason. As he said:
“I don’t give a damn how close they are [as a source], I don’t care if it’s my kids, or my wife or whatever. If it’s not from me, it’s not true…”
We will have to wait until July to see what happens with him going forward. Whatever he does will impact the rest of the league.