WASHINGTON, D.C. -- LeBron James expressed concern for embattled Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel when asked about the former Texas A&M star before the Cleveland Cavaliers' morning shootaround Wednesday.
"I think it's more concerned for him individually," James said when asked if Manziel's end to the season worried him more from a branding perspective or from the human side of things.
The comments came before James' marketing firm, LRMR, told cleveland.com Wednesday that it was cutting ties with Manziel as a client.
There were rumors this week that Manziel was in Las Vegas on Saturday night. Manziel, who is in the NFL's concussion protocol, missed a check-in with Browns officials on Sunday morning. The team later said it didn't know where he was. Manziel was not required to be at the team's season-ender, a 28-12 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday afternoon. He was back at the team's facility on Monday.
"I'm not quite sure, I don't know all the details on it. I've really kind of haven't been all up on it but I've heard a little of it," James said of the speculation surrounding Manziel's whereabouts. "It's just a distraction for not only himself, but for everyone that's around him including family, people that represent him, the people that are around him. And he'll figure it out at some point. We all hope."
Manziel finished his second season throwing for 1,500 yards with seven touchdowns and five interceptions in nine appearances (six starts) and a passer rating of 79.4. James was asked by a reporter, tongue-in-cheek, if he ever uses an alias of his own while in Las Vegas.
"When I go to Vegas? No," James said. "I don't go to Vegas much, but when I do, I'm myself."