LeBron James has always had an active social media presence, but this season, the he's used it to share a series of cryptic messages that leave his followers plenty of room for interpretation.
After Monday night's win over the Nuggets, James unfollowed the Cavaliers' official Twitter and Instagram accounts, along with the accounts of several team broadcasters and national basketball journalists.
LEBRON UNFOLLOWED THE CAVS TWITTER TODAY pic.twitter.com/haz6AWWYhH
— Baby Woj (@kanyecobain) March 21, 2016
At this point, James' Twitter and Instagram moves have become news. ESPN, NBCSports.com, Slam Magazine and even GQ posted stories about it.
When asked why he'd unfollowed his team on social media, the King flatly refused to answer.
Is it a conspiracy by James to troll his own team ahead of the playoffs? Is he hinting that he wants to leave Cleveland (again)? Not hardly, writes Joe Vardon of The Cleveland Plain Dealer.
According to a source close to James who discussed the matter with him Monday night, that's not why James unfollowed the Cavs. 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.
That reasoning might explain unfollowing basektball media, but the team account? That's more of a stretch.
James himself didn't seem so eager to back off the social media as recently as this morning.
Think I just may join the Snap this week. Another way for my fans to ride with me throughout my journey
— LeBron James (@KingJames) March 22, 2016
But unlike Twitter and Instagram, Snapchat provides a way for fans to engage with the Cleveland star without the ability to leave negative comments.
Maybe James really is winding down his social media use to prepare for the playoffs, but one thing's for sure: He knows he's causing a stir.