Los Angeles Lakers

NBA Rumors: LeBron to Los Angeles in 2014 Is Merely Preseason Cannon Fodder

MIAMI, FL - JANUARY 19:  LeBron James #6 of the Miami Heat is guarded by Kobe Bryant #24 of the Los Angeles Lakers during a game  at American Airlines Arena on January 19, 2012 in Miami, Florida. 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 Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
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Mike ShiekmanFeatured ColumnistOctober 19, 2012

Kobe Bryant reportedly only sees himself playing two more seasons in the NBA. Potential replacements have begun to be discussed.

ESPN's Brian Windhorst reports that LeBron James taking his place in Los Angeles has already been discussed around NBA circles.

Before your head starts spinning faster than a hangover, let’s examine which stories are ruling the preseason landscape on NBA.com.

The headlines are injuries galore: Kevin Love, Dwight Howard and Andrew Bynum all will frequent the bench until opening night. Leandro Barbosa signs with the Celtics. Jordan Hill returns to practice for the Lakers.

Doesn’t the NBA machine need some good rumors to bring some attention back to the league? It seems like the perfect time to inject some speculation into the news stream.

This LeBron story is too far away, too preposterous, with too many variables to take into account.

Let’s look at both sides of this potential marriage and see why there’s a better chance of Soulja Boy and Kenny Chesney doing a song together.

 

The Lakers

For story’s sake, the money premise makes sense. The Lakers will have a ton of tax dollars coming off the books in 2014, including Pau Gasol, Metta World Peace and Bryant. LeBron could be a free agent by 2014 free agency, if he chooses.

Yet if the Lakers don’t win a title this year, they’ll try to assemble more pieces to win the next year. That will take more spending and more luxury tax dollars. The Buss family might as well keep their checkbook open.

Even if the Lakers win this year, they won’t stand pat. This organization has a penchant of always looking to upgrade their squad (see Artest, Ron). Those moves ruin L.A.’s long-term flexibility.

 

LeBron James

Just because LeBron jumped ship from his hometown, the NBA world assumes he’ll move anywhere. Besides off-court allegiances, LeBron didn’t have any basketball reasons to stay in Cleveland.

If you think he’s going to the rest of his Big Three after winning a championship, maybe not two, not three, not four, it won’t be that easy. If you think he’ll leave the organization that made his championship dreams come true, it won’t be that easy.

Also, if there’s a chance that the Heat begin a rivalry in the NBA Finals with the Lakers, those chances become even slimmer.

LeBron would go through hell and back again if he switched to the NBA’s premier West Coast franchise.

Think LeBron is enjoying the monkey off his back? By signing with Los Angeles, he would be welcoming that primate back into his life.

That’s like getting back together with the crazy ex-girlfriend. Once you get rid of the crazy ex, there’s no going back.

This won't be the last time a LeBron to Hollywood story hits newsstands. Read the ESPN story at your own risk and check back in 2014.

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