LeBron James is coming back to Cleveland

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Gotcha! You thought this post title meant that LeBron James had decided to rejoin his former team, the Cleveland Cavaliers, when he becomes a free agent after this season, didn’t you?

If you love the idea of LeBron wearing the Wine and Gold again, let me apologize. If you hate the idea, you can breathe a sigh of relief, at least for now.

LeBron James is coming back to Cleveland on Saturday to honor his former teammate Zydrunas Ilgauskas. Big Z, as he was known during his playing days, is having his number retired by the Cavaliers, and LeBron is returning to Cleveland to support his friend, during his big night. At least, this is what LeBron’s visit appears to represent.

Beneath the surface

It would be wonderful to assume that LeBron’s only intentions for his quick trip to Cleveland are to celebrate this momentous occasion with Ilgauskas, who is the seventh player in Cavs history to have his number hung from the rafters of Quicken Loans Arena. One must wonder, though, if there isn’t more to LeBron’s visit.

Sure, NBA team executives can’t discuss free agency with players, until the season ends, but we all know what can happen in a casual conversation. I can just envision this interlude between LeBron James and Cavs owner Dan Gilbert:

Gilbert: “Thanks for coming, LeBron. How’s it feel to be back home?”

LeBron: “I wouldn’t have missed Big Z’s night for anything. It feels great to be here, especially with my boys in Akron being just down the road.” 

Gilbert: “You know, LeBron, the fans here still love you, and the guys on the team, especially Kyrie Irving, respect you so much. I know that love and respect means a lot to you.” 

LeBron: “For sure. That’s what I want more than anything.” 

Gilbert: “Good. Well, hey, LeBron, you be sure to have a safe trip back to Miami, and why don’t we have dinner when the season ends.” 

LeBron: “No doubt. I’ll text you the second our season ends.”

Is it possible that LeBron’s visit is a precursor to re-signing with the Cavaliers? Or is he really just a very supportive friend?

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Mark Barnes is an education author and consultant and the publisher of Brilliant or Insane. Learn more about Mark on our Team page. Follow him on Twitter here.

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Mark Barnes is the author of many education books, including Bestseller Hacking Education, part of his Hack Learning Series, books that solve big problems with simple ideas. Barnes presents internationally on assessment, connected education, and student-centered learning. Join more than 100,000 interested educators who follow @markbarnes19 on Twitter.
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