While the Cavaliers are reportedly preparing for the possibility that this season will be LeBron James’ last in Cleveland, T-shirts and hats being sold in Akron, James’ hometown, are emblazoned with this message, loosely translated:
Don’t leave us again, LeBron!
The literal inscription on the merchandise: “Stay home 23” (via Uproxx)
So this is already happening in Akron pic.twitter.com/f5ekd5bsI6
— Ben Axelrod (@BenAxelrod) August 19, 2017
It’s been a difficult few months for the Cavs. They were made quick work of by the Warriors in the NBA Finals, they failed to land a free agent to help close the gap between themselves and Golden State, and then reports broke that Kyrie Irving wants to be traded.
If James bolts, next summer would be even worse, and the Cavaliers have come to terms that that may be exactly what happens.
“The franchise is operating under a self-prescribed mandate: presume a future without LeBron James,” ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported earlier this week.”The Cavs aren't giving up on the possibility of re-signing James next summer, but they are no longer investing blind faith in the hope he will stay.”