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The Cleveland Cavaliers are synonymous with LeBron James. Even during all their success this past season, there was still the question of how good they could have been had LeBron been on the team.

So, in light of James’ upcoming free agency in 2023 and the Los Angeles Lakers’ mess of a coaching search, could The King’s recent tweet signify a potential return home? Maybe. Or perhaps his post meant nothing at all.

LeBron James posted a nostalgic tweet about the 2016 Cleveland Cavaliers

Former Cleveland Cavaliers star LeBron James during the 2016 NBA season.
LeBron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers before a game against the Atlanta Hawks on April 11, 2016. | Jason Miller/Getty Images

On May 4, a LeBron James fan account tweeted highlights from Game 2 of the 2016 Eastern Conference semifinals in which the Cavaliers faced the Atlanta Hawks.

The Cavs had a historic performance that night. They won 123-98 and broke the record for three-pointers made by a team during a single playoff game with 25. James dropped 27 points, J.R. Smith scored 23, and Kyrie Irving had 19.

A couple hours after the account posted the highlights, LeBron quote-tweeted the video and included the following caption: “Man o man!! That was one helluva night and one helluva team! Top to bottom.”

It was a “helluva team,” and it could have won multiple championships had Kevin Durant never signed with the Golden State Warriors that next season. The Cavaliers swept the Hawks in the series before going to the NBA Finals and rallying from a 3-1 deficit to beat the pre-Durant Warriors in seven games.

So, was LeBron just reminiscing about a past championship team? Or was he laying the groundwork for a third stint in Cleveland?

The King’s tweet could mean nothing … or it could mean everything


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Perhaps LeBron James’ tweet didn’t mean anything at all. In fact, the chances of that being the case are high.

James and some of his former teammates still regularly talk and even have a group chat. The majority of them seem pretty close.

However, with all the drama James’ Lakers had this season, it would be naive to take his tweet at face value.

LA was trash, missing the NBA Play-In Tournament entirely. Cleveland, on the other hand, had its first winning season without LeBron since 1997-98,  finishing with a 44-38 record behind the stellar play of young stars Darius Garland, Jarrett Allen, and Evan Mobley. The four-time MVP also commented during the All-Star Break (which took place in Cleveland) that he would potentially leave the door open to retiring with the Cavaliers.

Still, James has consistently preached his dedication to the Lakers. But the real question is whether the franchise is as devoted to him. While he may be its superstar, the front office has reportedly kept LeBron in the dark during its search for a new coach. Wouldn’t you want to keep your best player happy? Instead, Phil Jackson – who has a rocky history with LeBron – has been consulting the team.

Again, there’s a good chance that James’ tweet meant nothing, and he was just looking back at the good old days. Considering how tumultuous of a year the Lakers have had, though, perhaps James was laying the groundwork for another free-agency move.

We still have a long way to go, but maybe The King will soon return to his original throne.

Stats courtesy of Basketball Reference