LeBron, via Joe Vardon of Cleveland.com:
“It’s nonsense, and it’s a non story,” James said Friday after the Cavaliers’ practice. “I think it’s a discredit to what I’m trying to do here. It’s a discredit to my teammates and the coaching staff here.
“My only focus right now is trying to figure out how we can become a championship-caliber team in these next few months.”
“I’m here, I’m right here, I’m right now and this is my present and this is where I’m at,” James said, referring to Cleveland and the Cavs’ organization. “If you don’t hear something coming from my voice, then it’s not true. I don’t give a damn how close they are, I don’t care if it’s my kids, or my wife or whatever. If it’s not from me, it’s not true, so.”
“There’s 30 teams right now that at the end of the day probably want to sit down with me at the end of the season, right?” he said, listing the Lakers, 76ers, Rockets, Spurs, Kings, Magic, Heat, and Raptors. “It’s so easy to make a story out of that.”
“I just want you guys to know that my focus right now is on the Cavs and how we can get back to the Finals for a fourth straight year,” James said. “That’s my focus. And everything else is going to get talked about, but it’s not a distraction. But like, I think it’s just unfair to my teammates that come here everyday. I mean, I can handle it myself. But it’s unfair to those guys.”
File this under: What else is he supposed to say?
But I still believe these leaks serve LeBron’s greater purpose – winning a title in Cleveland this year. They remind the Cavaliers not to take LeBron for granted and pressure the team to build for this year by taking on more salary, trading future draft picks – whatever it takes. Otherwise, he might leave for the Warriors… or Lakers, 76ers, Rockets, Spurs, Kings, Magic, Heat or Raptors.
LeBron is being direct here about his intention of winning the 2018 championship. But if he believes passive-aggressive leaks would also help him achieve that goal, I wouldn’t put it past him.