His allegiance will be tested when the Evil Empire plays the Cleveland Indians in the American League Division Series, which commences Thursday at Progressive Field. Before Game 1, New York claimed James' fandom by posting a tweet with the NBA icon proudly flaunting its cap.
The photo is from 2007, when the then-22-year-old James supported the Yankees in their last postseason encounter against the Indians, who won the ALDS bout in four games. With his favorite team not part of the 2016 postseason, he hopped onboard Cleveland's bandwagon and cheered on his local squad alongside Cavaliers teammates.
During Cleveland's World Series run last year, per the New York Post's Marc Berman, James explained his Yankees devotion.
"I'm a supporter," James said. "I'm a supporter of winners. As a kid growing up, I needed inspiration to get out of the situation I was in. I loved the [Chicago] Bulls, [Dallas] Cowboys and loved the Yankees. Those are winning franchises. I liked them because they gave me hope of being a winner. That's part of the reason I loved those teams but I definitely support what the Indians are doing right now."
Now that both teams are simultaneously title contenders, he's caught in the middle. Maybe this time he'll just wait to root for the series' winner.