CLEVELAND — Less than a month after he signed with the Los Angeles Lakers in 2018, LeBron James told 3News' Amani Abraham that he wasn't ruling out a future return to the Cleveland Cavaliers.
"I don't close [any] chapters," he said at the time. "I don't [close any] doors."
More than three years later, the 4-time MVP's tune hasn't changed.
Speaking to Jason Lloyd of The Athletic following practice for the 2022 NBA All-Star Game in Cleveland on Saturday, James discussed a possible return to the franchise that he has spent 11 of his 19 seasons with. And in doing so, the 4-time NBA champion said that he remains open to a potential return to Northeast Ohio.
“The door’s not closed on that,” James told Lloyd. “I’m not saying I’m coming back and playing, I don’t know. I don’t know what my future holds. I don’t even know when I’m free.”
James, for what it's worth, will become a free agent following the 2022-23 NBA season.
While the idea of James returning to Cleveland would have seemed laughable merely a year ago, it seems much more plausible with the Cavs having emerged as one of the Eastern Conference's most promising young teams. At 35-23, Cleveland enters the All-Star break tied for the conference's third best record, with a pair of All-Stars in Darius Garland and Jarrett Allen and the current Rookie of the Year front-runner in Evan Mobley.
Garland and Allen, who are each first-time All-Stars, will play alongside James on Team LeBron on Sunday night.
"Cleveland is very deserving of this platform and this moment," James during his post-practice media availability on Saturday. "I mean, they've got two All-Stars of their own in DG and the big fella, Jarrett Allen. And they've got another guy in the All-Star Game, and that's me."