Sportress of Blogitude

Does LeBron’s Cleveland-based show create doubt he’ll leave Cavs?


A recent report indicates that there are members of the Cleveland Cavaliers who acknowledge a “slight possibility” exists where LeBron James could execute the opt-out clause in his contract and skip town after the season.

While there are innumerable working parts that will ultimately come into play when James makes a decision — and it seems like a remote possibility at best he would do such a thing and make himself Ohio’s most villainous exile — how would his departure play given he has a show centering on Cleveland that’s set to premiere on CNBC this summer?

The cable network has recently announced a premiere date for “Cleveland Hustles,” a show produced by James himself along with business partner Maverick Carter, and it will air for the first time on Aug. 24.

If he chose to skip town, James conceivably would sign with another NBA team in July when the league’s free agency period begins. With a premiere date of a show only a handful of weeks later, it “doesn’t quite seem like the proper launch strategy,” as’s Joe Vardon puts it.

What follows is how CNBC is pitching the show, on which it is expected that James will make an appearance, via a press release:

From CNBC’s press release about Cleveland Hustles:

“In this new unscripted series set in Cleveland, Ohio, NBA superstar LeBron James and his longtime friend and business partner Maverick Carter will give four up and coming local entrepreneurs the chance to realize their own dreams while also helping to revitalize a neighborhood in Cleveland. Four of LeBron’s and Maverick’s trusted business experts will be enlisted to help give the fledgling entrepreneurs the chance of a lifetime – financial backing, expert guidance, and a storefront to launch their enterprise. Over the course of the season, viewers will see if the entrepreneurs have the ambition, creativity, and hustle necessary to succeed — and in so doing, help a neighborhood that desperately needs investment. “Cleveland Hustles” is produced by SpringHill Entertainment and Magical Elves with LeBron James and Maverick Carter as executive producers for SpringHill Entertainment and Dan Cutforth and Jane Lipsitz as executive producers for Magical Elves. Jim Ackerman and Marshall Eisen are the executive producers for CNBC.”

James of course hasn’t said one thing that even remotely suggests he has a desire to leave the Cavaliers once again — he’s even mocked the speculation concerning it in quite the clever manner — but his peculiar behavior of late certainly has kept the suspicions brewing and the conjecture mounting.