The famous Brian Windhorst 'now why is that?' meme Credit: ESPN

It’s been nearly two years since Brian Windhorst staked his claim to his place in internet meme culture with his speculation regarding the offseason dealings of the Utah Jazz.

But while Windhorst’s question– which proved prophetic once Utah traded Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell — might be old news, it remains as relevant as ever as the go-to screen cap when a sports fan wants to imply that there might be more to a story than meets the eye.

And on Monday night, the ESPN reporter got a taste of his own medicine when LeBron James curiously decided to attend the Eastern Conference Semifinals matchup between the Cleveland Cavaliers and Boston Celtics. With the four-time MVP weeks away from potentially hitting free agency following his sixth season with the Los Angeles Lakers, many took note of him attending his former team’s game, which resulted in Windhorst receiving an all-too-familiar meme in his inbox.

“All of the executives in the league are all in Chicago. It’s one big giant rumor mill in there. And I’ve got executives sending me — multiple of them — my own meme back to me going, ‘What’s going on in Cleveland?'” Windhorst said on ESPN’s Get Up on Tuesday. “And so I had to try to find out what’s going on in Cleveland.”

Windhorst’s reporting proceeded to reveal that James and his wife, Savannah, were in Northeast Ohio for Mother’s Day and opted to stay for Monday’s matchup at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse. The couple were the guests of Cavs owner Dan Gilbert, with James’ agent, Rich Paul, informing the Lakers that he’d be attending his former team’s game.

The longtime insider added: “Conceptually, this wasn’t some sort of message. Realistically, of course LeBron knows it was going to be received as a message.”

Windhorst went on the note that the Lakers are currently in middle of a coaching search  — which he denied was something James was trying to influence — and Bronny James’ current status as an NBA Draft prospect — to which he reiterated his belief that LeBron and Bronny aren’t a package deal.

So why was James at the Cavs game on Monday? Windhorst had a theory.

“The Lakers have a trade to make or multiple trades to make,” he said. “They have three first-round picks to trade starting draft night. They didn’t do anything at the trade deadline. So LeBron being wishy washy and maybe showing up places like this I think exerts just a little bit of pressure. I think that may, above all else, be the thing.”

Windhorst’s assessment of the situation appears to be a mix of hard reporting and his own informed opinion based on more than 20 years of covering James. As NBA fans know by now, they should certainly pay attention when Windhorst asks the equivalent of, ‘Why would they do that?’ — especially when it relates to something involving James.

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About Ben Axelrod

Ben Axelrod is a veteran of the sports media landscape, having most recently worked for NBC's Cleveland affiliate, WKYC. Prior to his time in Cleveland, he covered Ohio State football and the Big Ten for outlets including Cox Media Group, Bleacher Report, Scout and Rivals.