Cleveland newspaper headline takes passive-aggressive shot at LeBron James

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 Cleveland.com 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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LeBron James arrives at Summer League in Lakers shorts
LAS VEGAS, NV - JULY 15: Head coach Tyronn Lue (L) of the Cleveland Cavaliers talks with LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers after a quarterfinal game of the 2018 NBA Summer League between the Lakers and the Detroit Pistons at the Thomas & Mack Center on July 15, 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - JULY 15: LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers attends a quarterfinal game of the 2018 NBA Summer League between the Lakers and the Detroit Pistons at the Thomas & Mack Center on July 15, 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - JULY 15: Head coach Tyronn Lue (L) of the Cleveland Cavaliers greets LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers after a quarterfinal game of the 2018 NBA Summer League between the Lakers and the Detroit Pistons at the Thomas & Mack Center on July 15, 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - JULY 15: Head coach Tyronn Lue (L) of the Cleveland Cavaliers talks with LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers after a quarterfinal game of the 2018 NBA Summer League between the Lakers and the Detroit Pistons at the Thomas & Mack Center on July 15, 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - JULY 15: Head Coach Tyronn Lue of the Cleveland Cavaliers speaks with LeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers during the game against the Detroit Pistons during the 2018 Las Vegas Summer League on July 15, 2018 at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas, Nevada. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2018 NBAE (Photo by Garrett Ellwood/NBAE via Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - JULY 15: LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers attends a quarterfinal game of the 2018 NBA Summer League between the Lakers and the Detroit Pistons at the Thomas & Mack Center on July 15, 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - JULY 15: LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers attends a quarterfinal game of the 2018 NBA Summer League between the Lakers and the Detroit Pistons at the Thomas & Mack Center on July 15, 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
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Ben Rohrbach is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at rohrbach_ben@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

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