Survey reveals how LeBron James' departure will impact Cavs fans watching their team going forward

In Los Angeles, LeBron James has almost single-handedly exploded interest in Lakers games and doubled costs for their tickets.

In Cleveland, his departure may have wiped out a quarter of the Cavaliers fan base.

While Cavs owner Dan Gilbert was grateful and commemorative for his second LeBron sendoff of the last eight years, a Qualtrics study has revealed that 23 percent of fans who watched half or more of the Cavaliers' games in 2017-18 will no longer tune in now that King James has fled for the West Coast.

The anticipated drop-off isn't entirely dissimilar to James' impact on ticket prices, as secondary marketplaces like StubHub and TickPick have reported price increases and decreases of up to 80 percent when LeBron either arrives or departs. And it's unsurprising considering what happened the last time No. 23 left in free agency -- after five straight playoff runs and one NBA Finals appearance, the Cavs went a combined 97-215 with zero trips to the postseason during James' stint with the Miami Heat.

Interestingly enough, though, while nearly a quarter of Cavs fans surveyed don't plan on sticking with Cleveland through another era of post-LeBron basketball, only 14 percent of polled NBA fans think James' move to Los Angeles was a cop-out.

Thirty-three percent, Qualtrics said, believe that James was fully justified in his relocation to the Lakers.

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