Cleveland newspaper headline takes passive-aggressive shot at LeBron James

The Los Angeles Lakers posted pictures of LeBron James practicing in purple and gold to their Twitter account on Thursday.

The purpose of a headline, they say in journalism school, is to draw the reader in, so the headline writer for Cleveland Cavaliers beat writer Chris Fedor’s story in The Plain Dealer did his job Thursday.

On top of Fedor’s story about LeBron James’ first game at Quicken Loans Arena as a member of the Los Angeles Lakers, the headline writer wrote, “Lonzo Ball and Lakers at The Q on Nov. 21” — an obvious dig at the former Cavaliers star who will be the main attraction that night, and then topped it off with a wonderful subheadline: “Former Cav James also expected to play.” That’s the good stuff right there.

It’s the print version of a LeBron subtweet.

And LaVar Ball sees nothing wrong with that headline.

Of course, this didn’t make the online version, where search-engine optimization is the name of the game and had to go with a more mundane headline: “LeBron James will return to Cleveland as member or Lakers on Nov. 21.” It plays in print, though — so well, in fact, that it’s gone viral, generating stories under headlines like, “Cleveland newspaper headline takes passive-aggressive shot at LeBron James,” which redirect those sweet, sweet clicks back to the original story.

Well, done Mr. or Mrs. Passive-Aggressive Headline Writer. You’re a real man or woman of genius.

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Ben Rohrbach is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter!

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