All things considered, it's been a relatively underwhelming start to this summer's NBA free agency. Clearly what it needed was some wholesome SEC-style flight-tracking craziness. The league's balance of power hinges on where LeBron James decides to sign, and fans in Cleveland are predictably getting restless. When Cavaliers radio personality Joe Lull tweeted Sunday that team owner Dan Gilbert was on his way to South Beach, the Internet broke a bit.
Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert is currently en route to south Florida.
— Joe Lull (@LullOnSports) July 6, 2014
Gilbert denied it. The man's word is sacred.
“. @LullOnSports:Cavs owner Dan Gilbert is currently en route to south Florida.” I am? Sorry folks but enjoying weather in my backyard today
— Dan Gilbert (@cavsdan) July 6, 2014
But hey, what else is there to do in Cleveland on a long weekend? Cavaliers fans began tracking the twin jet Gulfstream Aerospace Gulfstream IV, a plane reportedly owned by Gilbert. Its flight history is convincing: The GLF4/L flew from Cleveland to Teterboro, New Jersey, the same day that Gilbert and the Cavs visited Kyrie Irving, and went from Cleveland to Indianapolis on the date of the team's meeting with Gordon Hayward. Maybe Gilbert was enjoying that famous Cleveland sunshine, but someone was using his plane to see LBJ when it touched down in Fort Lauderdale on Sunday. AP reporter Tim Reynolds confirmed it.
Dan Gilbert has a plane. It's here. pic.twitter.com/G7WUeUcV87
— Tim Reynolds (@ByTimReynolds) July 6, 2014
The plot thickened when various reports indicated that former Cavs star Zydrunas Ilgauskas was on that plane. And of course, news of Big Z's involvement is not taken lightly.
Been working on this for two hours but can now confirm from second source that LBJ's friend and former Cav Zydrunas Ilgauskas was on plane
— Anthony Lima (@AnthonyLimaFAN) July 7, 2014
Ilgauskas is a noted close friend of James', and the two played with each other in Cleveland for seven seasons. When James signed with the Heat in the summer of 2010, Ilgauskas followed suit. He currently serves as a special advisor to the Cavaliers. Still, this seemed like nothing more than a pipe dream for Cavs fans. Rumors of James returning to his former team circulate every summer, and James' agent has taken meetings with the Heat, Phoenix Suns, Dallas Mavericks, Houston Rockets and Los Angeles Lakers.
Then ESPN's Chris Broussard offered a portentous tweet Sunday night.
Cleveland has replaced Miami as my frontrunner to land LeBron James...
— Chris Broussard (@Chris_Broussard) July 7, 2014
What should be taken from all this? If you need to be picked up from the airport, bank on a Cavs fan knowing exactly when to expect you. If you're Dan Gilbert, bank on someone already knowing where you're going before you do. And you best believe whatever your local cupcake shop tells you.
Oh yeah, and the best basketball player in the world may be switching teams.
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