One of the most memorable moments of All-Star Weekend was watching LeBron James celebrate the three-point championship of Cavaliers guard Kyrie Irving.

For a growing number of NBA players, executives, reporters and fans around the country, it was more circumstantial evidence that James’ days in Miami might be numbered. A prominent national story line has been brewing for some time that James wants to return to Cleveland and play with Irving after next season.

The subject was so prominent in Houston it was impossible to ignore, and James’ effusive praise for Irving during the weekend only served to fuel speculation.

Considering the way James left Cleveland in 2010, the idea of him returning less than five years later once seemed preposterous. But while James has shot down every question regarding his future, he has never ruled out a return to Cleveland. In fact, James began attempting to smooth things over with Cleveland last year.

“It would be fun to play in front of these fans again,” James said in February of 2012 before a road game at Cleveland. “I had a lot fun times in my seven years here. … I’m here as a Miami Heat player, and I’m happy where I am now, but I don’t rule that out in no sense.

“And if I decide to come back, hopefully the fans will accept me.”

The Heat will be major contenders to keep James in the summer of 2014 when he can first opt out of his contract, but All-Star Weekend added yet another chapter to the ongoing narrative that James loves the young Cleveland guard’s game.