NBA Hoops

LeBron James back in Cleveland for Celtics-Cavaliers Game 4

LeBron James back in Cleveland for Celtics-Cavaliers Game 4

CLEVELAND — LeBron James attended Cleveland‘s playoff game against the Boston Celtics on Monday night, an appearance certain to drive conversation about the superstar’s future.

James, who can opt out of his contract with the Los Angeles Lakers and become a free agent this summer, played two stints in Cleveland. He led the Cavs to their only NBA championship in 2016 before leaving two years later.

The league’s career scoring leader, James has maintained a residence near his hometown of Akron. He has come back to Cleveland many times since leaving in 2018, but has not attended any Cavs games.

James arrived just as the game began and took a courtside seat along with his wife, Savannah, and agent Rich Paul.

He received a thunderous ovation when shown on the Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse scoreboard during a timeout. James acknowledged the crowd and then King James mimicked putting a crown on his head.

James had a short postseason this year as the Lakers were eliminated in the first round by the defending champion Denver Nuggets. He made it clear following the series that he was leaving his options open and had made no decisions about his next move.

James, 39, has talked in the past about playing alongside his oldest son, Bronny, who played at USC last season and recently declared for this year’s draft.

On Monday, the younger James was cleared by the league’s doctors to participate in the pre-draft combine in Chicago after going into cardiac arrest last summer.

James is a 20-time All-Star, four-time league MVP and champion. He was drafted No. 1 overall by Cleveland and spent seven seasons with the Cavs before signing as a free agent with Miami in 2010.

He returned to the Cavs in 2014 and led them to four consecutive NBA Finals appearances — all against Golden State.

The Cavaliers lost to the Celtics 109-102 to fall behind 3-1 in the best-of-seven Eastern Conference semifinal series.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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