Will LeBron go back home to Cleveland?

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Of everything we’ve seen from the Lakers this season, LeBron James’ team has not played like a team that expected to make the playoffs. Apparently James, the Lakers star, had said the door is “not closed” on a potential return to the Cleveland Cavaliers.

What does that mean?

Maybe he’s expressing his concerns and frustration with the Lakers’ failures to make any moves to upgrade and change the makeup of the roster.

Maybe he wants out.

Maybe he just wants there to be no hard feelings as he considers finishing his basketball career in Cleveland, where it all began. Maybe he’s looking for the easiest way possible to collect his fifth championship. Or, yes, fine, maybe, just maybe, he’s already visibly, preemptively annoyed with the Lakers’ unwillingness to try to exhaust every avenue to strengthen their roster.

All of those are good reasons for why James could decide to move on from the Lakers after next season. Quite simply and rather quickly, he can potentially leave the Lakers for a return to the Cavaliers. No matter how he tries to spin it now, you’d best believe he could walk out of that door.

Considering how bad things have gone for the Lakers so far this season, it shouldn’t be that much of a surprise that James triggered speculation that he could leave the Lakers during the All-Star Weekend in Cleveland. And, so now, knowing how he is, James could very well be running away from his problems rather than dealing with them. Because if the going gets tough, there is no doubt he will walk out on the Lakers.

He now understands the daunting task awaiting the Lakers as he puts wear and tear on his body trying to drag this team to the playoffs. He is always going to keep it real. He’s going to say what he feels, even if it blows up social media and is taking out of context. Nothing has gone plan this season for James and company.

Given what is widely known about the Lakers, James is seemingly intrigued by the idea of putting on a Cleveland jersey and finishing his career there. From the beginning, he was locked in. But now that the Lakers are in danger of falling out of contention, he doesn’t want to stick to his promise, it seems.

And as James shows a greater willingness to display his physical prowess, his team’s play continues to be consistently inconsistent. As always, when problems arise, James has no problem running far, far away and finding a new home where winning comes easy. On a team of stars, including Russell Westbrook, Anthony Davis and Carmelo Anthony, James is clearly the team’s biggest factor.

Obviously, everything here about LeBron likely leaving the Lakers to play in Cleveland after next season is gossip mixed with some reporting, but he could surely choose to walk out. And the Lakers should politely open the door. Everything here about him packing his heavy bags, taking his ball and going back home are rumors, but he could already have one foot out of the door and ready to go. And the Lakers surely shouldn’t beg him to stay or lose any sleep over it.

The James era in L.A. could come to an end, all because he may decide it will. For him, it’s just a change in mentality, a shift in his mood, all because of the Lakers’ paltry record, erratic play and crippling mistakes that can reduce or diminish his performance and have a negative effect on his game.

The Lakers are terrible. They are a mess. They are completely doomed in a season that looks like a total loss. A year characterized by ups and downs, injuries and losses leaves us with the tantalizing shred of possibility that the Lakers could miss the playoffs. It’s been a theme all season for the Lakers to find a way to lose games against teams they should have beaten.

That explains why James has apparently shown some covert interest in moving back to his home state. It has sparked a national discussion that ranges from saying he’s copping out to him being a selfish superstar to wondering if he’s finding any excuse to bail on his commitment to the Lakers.

No chemistry. No heart. Uninspired play. Turnovers. Defensive whiffs. Missed shots. LeBron has dealt with it and is tired of it.  The hapless Lakers could be on the brink of hopelessness or in full-blown crisis. This horrible Lakers team has a chemistry that lacks under James. With some boos and a lot of heckling, the Lakers have shown little to no pride at all. Little is working for a team that can’t figure out how to win games. With his team in the midst of a treacherous slump, we should expect anything drastic. Everything has just about gone wrong for the floundering Lakers.

James, the four-time MVP and four-time NBA champion, has nobody but himself to blame for the way this season has gone. The season-long storyline centers around James, who is largely responsible for putting this team together. All season long, the Lakers have served as a national punching bag, James has seen scrutiny, scrutiny that some feel has been unfair when he has played to a level seldom seen from a player his age.

The territory, as often seen, has been unkind to LeBron and the Lakers. He, for one, has seen it all, heard it all, been the subject of public ridicule and lots of memes have flooded social media mocking him and the Lakers. Basketball fans have taken to Twitter and Instagram to get their jokes off.

If James feels a certain way about something, he voices that, he says whatever it is on his mind, and he lets it be known. More and more, the Lakers are relying heavily on James to take on the full weight of the team’s efforts when necessary. It’s a big ask for a veteran star whose body is showing more wear and tear, despite the fact that he’s still balling at an insanely high level. His scoring, intensity, effort, energy and all-out play is otherworldly at this point of his career. His efficiency, on-ball creativity and physicality makes him the crying face of the Lakers.

But never mind all of that.

Not to make light of it, but the feeling is James wants out. Not to bring up the subject, but the talk is James has grown visibly frustrated with the Lakers’ resultant fiascoes. The word is, James won’t rule out returning to Cleveland. Next thing you know, he’ll be calling Cleveland his home again.

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