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LeBron James claims he’s joining Snapchat after Twitter controversy

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Wikimedia Commons / Keith Allison
Could NBA superstar LeBron James be on the verge of ditching Twitter for Snapchat?

Social media is alight with rumors regarding the Cleveland Cavaliers shooting guard, who has done little to stem the controversy by announcing that he’s thinking of joining the video messaging app as soon as this week.

Think I just may join the Snap this week. Another way for my fans to ride with me throughout my journey

— LeBron James (@KingJames) March 22, 2016

It all started when James unfollowed his own team on Twitter, leading to media speculation about his decision, which he has been unwilling to discuss — as evidenced in this awkward post-match interview clip.

Following the conclusion of the Cavaliers’ match against the Denver Nuggets — which the team won thanks to James’ 33 points and 41st career triple-double night — things got even worse. Despite the positive result, James went on an unfollowing spree, purging several more Twitter accounts belonging to members of the Cleveland media, reports Sports Illustrated. That brings his total tally of unfollows to 14 in the last couple of days alone.

Although some have attributed the decision to his playoff preparation routine, closing out the noise that inevitably comes with social media ahead of an important set of games, that doesn’t explain why James wants to join Snapchat. After all, the visual messaging app relies on immediacy and constant interaction.

One of the more extreme reports on the situation sheds light on the growing speculation that the Twitter cut-off could be tied to James’ intention to leave Cleveland for a second time. The move would see James opt out of his two-year, $47 million contract and become a free agent this summer.

Rumors aside, the decision to join Snapchat could just be a case of the superstar athlete wanting to join a buzzing platform. Several NBA players already use the app, including Miami Heat center Hassan Whiteside, who allegedly influenced DJ Khaled’s output on Snapchat. The latter is another one (excuse the pun) in the long line of celebs that is jumping on the snap bandwagon, recent additions also include Instagram queen Kim Kardashian. In Khaled’s case the move has been an astounding success, with the self-professed mogul now at the helm of the world’s most popular Snapchat account.

Maybe James just wants a piece of that pie. Social media comes with a built-in fanbase for celebs like James, who boasts 29 million followers on Twitter alone. The flipside of that online fame is the scrutiny that comes with opening yourself up to the public, and media, on a relatively unrestricted platform. Luckily, for James, if he ever needs some help with the social side of things, Stephen Curry’s startup is on hand to help him curate his online feed.

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