Nate Scott: LeBron James is to Blame for Situation in Cleveland


I didn’t want to make anything of the news yesterday that LeBron James had unfollowed the Cleveland Cavaliers on social media. It was frivolous and silly news, probably the result of one of his people accidentally unfollowing while cleaning up his account or something else equally innocuous.

Cleveland is in first place in the Eastern Conference. This was a nothing story that would disappear. Then a reporter asked James about it after his stunning triple-double performance on Monday night, and his response has me wondering what on earth is going on.

James could have said anything, anything to diffuse the situation. He could have said he had no idea, but probably someone from his team accidentally clicked a button. He could’ve made a joke about how silly social media is, and not to worry about it, he still loves Cleveland and this team. The press in attendance would have laughed it off and that would have been that.

Instead James went stone-faced, said “next question,” and then ended the interview and walked off.

Later, a source inside James’ camp rushed an explanation to, saying that James was trying to pare down the noise ahead of the playoffs. Right. Got it.

This is just another example of James creating an issue where none needed to be, and while it is unfair that his every move is broken down like this (would anyone know if, say, Ramon Sessions unfollowed the Wizards?) this is what he signed up for. He uses Instagram and Twitter constantly. You can’t build a massive social media brand and then get upset when people analyze what you do on it.

All season James has written subtweets (for those of you who don’t live on the internet: subtweets are passive aggressive tweets addressed to an unknown or implied party) and hinted at things the Cavaliers are missing. He grumbled about the team not having an enforcer, then loudly praised the newly acquired veteran Channing Frye for mixing it up for an opponent, implying to the rest of the Cavaliers: See? This is what you should have been doing. He’s posted photos of his friends on other teams — Carmelo Anthony, Dwyane Wade and Chris Paul — and suggested that they understood him better than anyone else did, fueling even more speculation by Cleveland fans that he’s looking for a way out to team up with those guys.

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