LeBron James enacts annual social media ban for 2016 NBA playoffs, and Cavaliers beat reporters rejoice

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LeBron James' Instagram post announcing his annual self ban on social media for the NBA postseason. (LeBron James' Instagram)
Joe Vardon, Cleveland.com By Joe Vardon, Cleveland.com The Plain Dealer
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on April 16, 2016 at 11:43 PM, updated April 16, 2016 at 11:46 PM

CLEVELAND, Ohio -- LeBron James is indeed going dark on social media again for the playoffs, which start Sunday for his Cleveland Cavaliers against the Detroit Pistons.

And no one who covers the Cavs is too upset about it.

James announced late Saturday night on Twitter and Instagram that "Zero Dark Thirty - 23 has been activated," which means he will not post to or theoretically even read his social media accounts until after the Cavaliers' playoff run is complete.

 

James has been doing this since 2012 -- the year Zero Dark Thirty, the movie about Navy SEALs' hunt for Osama bin Laden was released -- and has never won a championship without it.

James seemed to be wavering a bit on Zero Dark Thirty-23, saying Friday that "it doesn't matter" if he steps away from social media or not during the playoffs.

"I'm going to be locked in anyway," he said.

On this one point, that it doesn't matter, well, we'll have to agree to disagree.

For anyone whose job description includes monitoring James' Twitter and Instagram posts, or who might be the subject of one of James' cryptic Tweets, or a certain NBA franchise who gets unfollowed by James, two months of peace and quiet fostered by his absence from social media matters a great deal.

SEE: LeBron's crazy Tweets

James just granted us two months (assuming the Cavs reach the Finals) void of deciphering Instagram collages of him and Dwyane Wade and Carmelo Anthony and Chris Paul.

Kevin Love is in the clear.

Presumably, there will be no DM-sliding (if you don't get that joke, good for you).

SEE: That time LeBron unfollowed the Cavs

James is followed on Twitter by 30.1 million people, and by 19.8 million on Instagram. So however trivial you may deem social media to be, the two accounts are unfiltered lines of communications from James directly to a boatload of people.

The potential for news -- and drama -- is great.

In summation, James took what had been a relatively drama-free 2015-16 season for the Cavs (save for that small bump in the road of firing coach David Blatt) and turned it upside down in March with his social media posts, sparking rampant speculation of his discontent in Cleveland and future intentions...to the point where Cavs' brass had to tell him to cool it.

Once that message was delivered, James played his best basketball of the season.

So, Cavs fans, enjoy the playoffs.

We -- the people who bring you your Cavs' news, and let's face it, the Cavs' front office and media relations folks -- will enjoy Zero Dark Thirty-23.