LeBron James is going back to Cleveland — according to a cupcake shop

A cupcakery’s digital enterprise journalism.

Do not doubt it: Reporters are sweating LeBron James’s free agency.

Somewhere in America, red-faced reporters on deadline are pushing their reluctant sources to get it on the record.

Is King James going to the Phoenix Suns? The Houston Rockets? The Dallas Mavericks? The Cleveland Cavaliers? Or is he staying in Miami? 

No one knows — but for news this big, even word of a potential sit-down with James and Miami Heat president Pat Riley about the story is a story.

Enter the premier sports newsbreaker of the 21st century: Caroline’s Cupcakes.

You know — the bakery.

In Canton, Ohio.

On Monday’s menu: Classic Chocolate, Chocolate Peanut Butter Kiss and Caramel Pecan Sundae.

Did we mention the Red Velvet?

Ice cream is not on the menu at Caroline’s — but scoops are.

According to a Saturday Facebook post, the cupcakery, citing sources, confirmed — with a “grain of salt” — that LeBron would return to the 216 area code.

But rumors began to circulate on this thing they call the Internet. Though no news agency is treating the Caroline’s tip as confirmation, when an ESPN columnist began to make a similar case, it looked like he’d been beat by a shop presumably more focused on “a delicious array of gourmet cupcake flavors to satisfy all tastes” than pageviews.

 

 

Of course, correlation doesn’t show causation. Yes: A bakery speculated about LeBron James on July 5, and then an ESPN columnist offered that same speculation the next day. But that doesn’t mean Chris Broussard picked up the phone to tap into the collective NBA wisdom of those running Caroline’s.

Still, such Web serendipity — or, maybe, lack thereof — doesn’t make Broussard look great. Why is he stepping out on a limb on the LeBron story — or, at least, trying to look like he’s stepping out on a limb? If he really has the inside dope, why can’t he get someone on the record?

At press time, neither Chris Broussard nor Jonathan A. Gotschall, Caroline’s owner, had returned requests for comment.

 

Justin Moyer is the deputy editor of the Morning Mix.
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