"It's going to be like this, and I'm talking about reality. He's going to say, 'You know what? I went to Miami. Won a championship. Brought one back to my hometown. I'm the only one to go to three different places and bring a championship."
The Ball family patriarch was also adamant that James linking up with his son, Lonzo, would give the Lakers a title-caliber tandem.
"You do not give Lonzo Ball the best player in the game and don’t think they going to win! He is going to fall in love with Lonzo so much on the way that he play. They both understand the game. Best player in the game and you don’t think he coming? Stop it!"
Buzz regarding James' potential departure from the Cleveland Cavaliers cropped up in June, when Adrian Wojnarowski, then with The Vertical, (h/t NBC Sports' Dan Feldman) said he had heard it was a real possibility the three-time champion could bolt in summer 2018.
"Not only is there no guarantee he's coming back, I'm not sure there's an expectation he's re-signing there," Wojnarowski said. "I think they feel, I think within Cleveland and around the league, they feel that he’s very much in play to leave again and likely head out West to one of the two L.A. teams. The Lakers could very well be a target."
Bleacher Report's Ric Bucher followed up Aug. 25 and reported the "prevailing sentiment among the league executives" was that James would opt out of his $35.6 million 2018-19 player option and test free agency.
"I don't see him staying in Cleveland," one executive told Bucher.
Kevin Durant, it should be noted, believes James isn't going anywhere and has told him as much.
"I personally always said he was staying," Durant said on The Bill Simmons Podcast. "I told him this. That's me. I feel like he's going to end it in Cleveland. That's his crib now. He run it, and he gonna turn it into something mega when he's done. He's going to do something."
Conversations like the ones Ball and Durant had are sure to envelop the 2017-18 NBA season ad nauseam—especially in the aftermath of the Kyrie Irving blockbuster.
But considering James has left the Cavaliers once before, it's fair to wonder if he'll try to conquer the Association from a new kingdom come 2018.