LeBron James Lakers Rumors: Why Leaving the Heat Would Tarnish LeBron's Legacy

Stephen SheehanCorrespondent IOctober 19, 2012

Replacing Kobe Bryant would be an impossible task for LeBron James.
Replacing Kobe Bryant would be an impossible task for LeBron James.Harry How/Getty Images

LeBron James already burned his bridges in Cleveland, and if the rumors are true that the reigning MVP could be on his way to Los Angeles in 2014, his legacy would be ruined. 

According to Brian Windhorst of ESPN.com, the Lakers could usher in a new era of dominance much like the way the San Francisco 49ers did with Joe Montana in 1993—by replacing a Hall of Famer with another one. 

General manager Mitch Kupchak already pulled off two monster acquisitions this offseason, prying Steve Nash from the Phoenix Suns in a sign-and-trade and executing a blockbuster trade for Dwight Howard

Pulling in LeBron in 2014 would make those seem minuscule. 

While replacing Kobe Bryant with the best basketball player in the world would be a huge coup for L.A., it could mean career suicide for LeBron. 

If LeBron managed to learn anything from "The Decision" he'll stay in South Beach. 

It's unfair to criticize the King for leaving Cleveland. The Cavaliers were a bad team that failed to surround the league's best player with enough talent to be a true championship-caliber team. 

However, the way he left behind his hometown was downright disrespectful. 

Now that he's won another MVP and captured his first championship title, LeBron needs to continue building his legacy in Miami. 

The transition from Cleveland to Miami hasn't been without bumps in the road, but LeBron, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh finally put it together last year in the playoffs, knocking off a resilient Boston team that had LeBron and Co. on the ropes. 

By the time the finals rolled around, LeBron elevated his game to a new level, dominating against Kevin Durant's Oklahoma City Thunder squad. 

However, for a guy that predicted multiple championships in Miami, leaving for the West Coast in two years could be disastrous for his legacy. 

Granted, it would be awesome to see LeBron and Howard on the same team, but what's wrong with the Big Three in South Beach? 

Sure, Wade is probably nearing the end of his prime. The two-time champ just can't seem to stay healthy and lacks the explosive athleticism that made him a truly dazzling superstar earlier in his career. 

That doesn't mean Wade can't take the backseat to LeBron in the next few years and still be a terrific No. 2 option. 

As for Bosh? He actually played quite well last season, and when he went down with an abdominal injury, it was evident just how much the Heat missed the skilled big man. 


With one title under his belt, LeBron still has a lot of work in proving to both himself and the basketball world that he is on Michael Jordan's level in terms of winning championships. 

There's no questioning his rare physical skills, but he is still five rings behind Jordan.

Many of the game's greatest winners—Larry Bird, Magic Johnson, Bill Russell—established and finished their careers in one city. They epitomized what basketball meant to Boston or L.A. 

LeBron showed he was a great individual player in Cleveland, but Miami needs to be the only place where he builds his legacy as a winner. 

Moving to L.A. would only cause more headaches and pressure as being the guy to replace Kobe. Let Howard deal with that. 

Miami has embraced and worshiped LeBron as their basketball god. 

Playing anywhere else, especially in L.A., would only tarnish the King's throne.