INDEPENDENCE: Speculation over LeBron James’ future continues to build both inside and outside the NBA. Anderson Varejao fueled the discussion Tuesday when he said he believed James could play for the Cavaliers again someday.
“It could happen,” said Varejao, the last remaining link to the James-led Cavs teams. “Bron is from Akron. Akron is not too far from here. Eventually in his career, he probably wants to play at home.”
Then unprovoked, the normally quiet Varejao said he didn’t like the way James left the Cavs via the one-hour television special three years ago.
“I think the way he left was wrong,” Varejao said. “But regardless … he helped me a lot, helped my game and helped me as a person. I have nothing against him. It could happen.”
The Cavaliers are off to a miserable 4-10 start as they prepare to host James and the Miami Heat today. James can become a free agent after the season but has steadfastly refused to discuss free agency or next summer.
Cavs coach Mike Brown wasn’t about to get drawn into any James conversations, either. Asked about the possibility of a reunion some day with James, Brown wouldn’t bite.
“He plays for the Miami Heat right now. He’s done a fantastic job with the Miami Heat, just like the rest of those guys,” Brown said. “They’ve been to the Finals three straight years. [Coach] Erik Spoelstra’s done a heck of a job for that team. We got a long road ahead of us here.”
When asked last summer about a possible reunion with James, Brown told the Beacon Journal that the two parted ways three years ago on better terms than people think.
“There are no ill feelings or ill will or anything like that coming from me toward LeBron,” Brown said in July. “I’m excited for him and his family for where he is and I truly believe he feels the same about me. He has said nice things publicly about me in the past couple years, and I have about him.”
Asked if he could coach James again someday, Brown said in July, “I can coach anybody at any time, and that’s not specifically LeBron or Kobe. I’m confident in my abilities and I look forward to being in this business for a long time.”
James arrived in time to watch St. Vincent-St. Mary’s basketball practice Tuesday, even tweeting out a video from practice. He is expected to host his teammates for a Thanksgiving feast Thursday at his home in Bath.
As for what transpires in between? That’s anyone’s guess.
The Cavs, as they have for all of James’ return games, will have increased security both in the arena and around the court, particularly in the wake of an incident last season when James Blair ran on the court to ask James to return to the Cavs.
Now Blair is back as part of a group called “Come Home LeBron.” They will be passing out T-shirts before today’s game and have erected two billboards asking James to return to the Cavaliers next summer.
Varejao, however, won’t be helping the committee’s cause. Asked if he’ll whisper something to James tonight about returning here, Varejao laughed and said no.
“I can’t talk about that during the game,” he said. “I have a lot of other things to focus on.”
Jarrett Jack (strained neck) has been cleared to play against the Heat. C.J. Miles was a limited participant in practice again and a decision on him won’t be made until today. Brown said he isn’t sure he’ll start Miles at shooting guard even if he can play. If he doesn’t start Miles, Brown said he’ll again turn to rookie Matthew Dellavedova.
Jason Lloyd can be reached at email@example.com. Read the Cavs blog at https://ohio.com/cavs. Follow him on Twitter http://www.twitter.com/JasonLloydABJ. Follow ABJ sports on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/sports.abj.