LeBron James unfollows Cavs on Twitter, doesn't want to talk about it

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» Wed Mar 23, 2016 6:14 pm
By Ananth Pandian | NBA writer
March 22, 2016 12:42 am ET

After getting routed by the Miami Heat on Saturday, a loss that caused LeBron James to express concern about a potential matchup in the playoffs, the Cleveland Cavaliers bounced back by dominating the Denver Nuggets 124-91 on Monday.

James was sensational in the win, recording his second triple-double of the season with 33 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists. The win made the Cavs the Central Division champs and kept them in the No. 1 seed in the East, remaining 1.5 games ahead of the Toronto Raptors.

Despite the excellent game and Cleveland's win, James had to face a tough question afterwards. It involved his Twitter account, which has been quite enigmatic of late. Leading to plenty of assumptions about how James feels about his teammates and the Cavs.

Earlier on Monday, it was revealed by Twitter user "kanyecobain," through some sleuthing on the app version of Doesfollow.com that James had unfollowed the Cavs on Twitter on March 21.

— Baby Woj (@kanyecobain) March 21, 2016

SI's Kenny Ducey, did his own testing and found that the results were accurate. James had indeed unfollowed the Cavs on March 21.

So does this mean that James, who will be a free-agent this summer will leave the Cavs yet again? Is this somehow linked to his cryptic tweets from earlier in March? Is it really James running his account, or does he have a social media manager that may have accidentally unfollowed the Cavs?

Only James truly knows the answer to why he unfollowed the Cavs. Unfortunately when a Cleveland.com's Joe Vardon asked him about the unfollowing, he bypassed the question, refusing to comment. He then appeared to become flustered and wouldn't answer a more relevant basketball specific question, walking away and shaking his head after saying "My mind. I'm done."

While obviously it is a silly question to answer, James could have "diffused the situation" (as Vardon says) by saying something like, "Oh that. (Laughs) That doesn't mean anything. I'm happy in The Land and want to bring a championship to Northeast Ohio."

James is not the only star player to not follow his team on Twitter. Kobe Bryant doesn't follow the Los Angeles Lakers and Andre Iguodala doesn't follow the Golden State Warriors. So what gives?

Vardon, who asked James the question, may have the answer:

According to a source close to James who discussed the matter with him Monday night, that's not why James unfollowed the Cavs. He did it as part of his process to prepare for the playoffs.

There is precedence for this. James puts away all forms of social media once the playoffs begin, to cut all distractions and sharpen his own focus on the task ahead. He calls it Zero Dark 23. He did it last year.

James' unfollowing of the Cavs was sort of a preamble, the source said. He's starting to pare down some of the "noise" without shutting off his account entirely.

James didn't just unfollow @cavs – the official Twitter account of the team for which he's supposed to deliver a championship.

He also unfollowed Allie Clifton, the team's sideline reporter for Fox Sports Ohio, with whom he's had a cordial, friendly, professional relationship for two seasons.

James also unfollowed the Twitter account of Austin Carr, the Cavs' in-game analyst for Fox and a team legend, whom James admires. He parted ways with the account of ESPN Cavs reporter Dave McMenamin, and NBA reporter Chris Broussard.

In all, James unfollowed 14 accounts recently – he's down to 153 from 167. According to the source close to James, most were NBA media types and basketball-related accounts.

Though, for full disclosure, James still follows several NBA players, including teammates Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love, as well as NBA TV's Kristen Ledlow, Sports Illustrated's Lee Jenkins, and ESPN's Rachel Nichols, Hannah Storm, and Michael Wilbon.

At any rate, the Cavs' front office and fans of James and the organization should be at ease.

He's not deliberately trying to poison the locker room and the team's playoff hopes with a few clicks of a button. Of course he isn't.

Rather, he's beginning his process to get ready for what could be his sixth consecutive Finals berth. That hasn't been done since the 1960s.

Ok fine, that makes some sense but James could've simply said this when Vardon asked him the question after Cleveland's win over the Nuggets. After all, honesty is the best policy. And being honest, would probably help James focus more on getting to a sixth straight Finals instead having to deal with questions surrounding a social media network that lets users type out messages in 140 characters.

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