This is why LeBron unfollowed the Cavaliers on Twitter
The silliest story in Monday’s NBA news cycle involved LeBron James and his apparent unfollowing of the Cavaliers’ official team account on Twitter.
The Internet went wild with speculation as to what it might mean, because everything James does with his social media accounts is carefully crafted, and done with purpose.
But as it turns out, there was no message James wanted to send. This time, it appears as though he simply wanted to regain some focus.
James finished with 33 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists in Monday’s blowout win over the Nuggets, in what was only his second triple-double performance of the season. He was asked about the Twitter nonsense afterward, and paused for a moment before responding with "next question," and then ending the interview altogether.
LeBron got asked about unfollowing the Cavs and immediately became the most flustered human on the planet pic.twitter.com/FTJB4pJdmW
— Barstool Sports (@barstoolsports) March 22, 2016
Joe Vardon of Cleveland.com shed some light on what may really be going on here, and it doesn’t look like much.
According to a source close to James who discussed the matter with him Monday night, … 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.
This makes perfect sense, of course, but James has to know that any move he makes publicly, no matter how small, is going to be heavily scrutinized. And, there’s a handy "mute" feature on Twitter that would have accomplished the exact same thing without drawing any attention at all.
A simple one-sentence explanation, especially after a monster individual performance that came during a 33-point victory could have put all of this to rest. Instead, LeBron’s postgame reaction when asked about it just ended up making things worse.