Cleveland Cavaliers fans gave LeBron James a heartfelt ovation as he left the game-four blowout to the Golden State Warriors early to allow the Quicken Loans Arena crowd to say goodbye, potentially.
James – tipped to enter free agency – came out with four minutes remaining in the fourth quarter before reigning champions the Warriors completed a sweep in the NBA finals with a 108-85 victory on Friday.
The crowd chanted "MVP! MVP!" as three-time NBA champion James slapped hands with his team-mates and opponents before heading to the bench in Cleveland.
While much has been made about the Cavaliers' relative lack of success during James' 11 seasons and two tours of duty in Cleveland, the fact is, the 33-year-old helped bring Cleveland its first major-league sports championship since the 1960s in 2016, and the Cavs have been to the NBA Finals four-straight seasons.
Now, the NBA news cycle immediately shifts to James' future, as he enters free agency this summer.
Among the top destinations mentioned in the LeBron sweepstakes: the Philadelphia 76ers, Los Angeles Lakers and Houston Rockets.