Biggest Reasons LeBron James Will Spend the Rest of His Career with Miami Heat
LeBron James owns a player option that could make him a free agent following the 2013-14 campaign.
Highlighted by Pat Riley's ability to consistently transform the roster and James' championship partnership with Dwyane Wade, there are too many reasons to stay in South Beach for James to consider playing anywhere else.
He is in the process of building the dynasty they promised when James first arrived in Miami.
There is reason to believe those winning ways will continue for the Heat moving forward.
No. 5: Pat Riley Will Reload Heat Roster
During his final season with the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2009-10, the Miami Heat were not considered a legitimate free-agent possibility for LeBron James.
Moving from within the shadows of that conversation, however, was Heat president Pat Riley.
Not only would Riley convince LeBron to choose South Beach, but he'd also bring Chris Bosh with him to team up with Dwyane Wade.
While we might not see the transformative chess moves Riley is planning to make during the summer of 2014 right now, it's likely that he's begun setting them in motion already. It's also likely that the moves Riley does make to surround LeBron with talent are enough to keep him in Miami.
No. 4: The South Beach Lifestyle
There's a reason why Will Smith wrote a song way back in the day about going to Miami. There's also a reason why celebrities have been flocking there ever since.
South Beach is a beautiful place. If you are flush with the funds to afford it, there might not be a better destination to spend your excess resources and free time.
As a member of the Miami Heat, LeBron James can continue to enjoy the South Beach lifestyle.
This may seem insignificant, with respect to basketball and legacy, until you compare it to life as a Milwaukee Buck.
There's always something appealing about a tropical paradise, for NBA players and vacationers alike. Miami, Florida, for James as his teammates, is specifically that.
No. 3: Maintaining a Fanbase of Support
When LeBron James left the Cleveland Cavaliers and his hometown in Northeast Ohio to join the Miami Heat, he alienated a portion of his fanbase forever.
During the decision process which raged through the summer of 2010, James also managed to anger fans in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and elsewhere who were led to believe they were in line for his services.
The net result, capped off by the airing of ESPN's The Decision, was that James became the NBA’s public enemy No. 1.
It has taken three years for James, two regular-season MVPs and two NBA championships to turn that tide of public opinion back in his favor.
Leaving the Heat now would disrupt that momentum of support he has worked to re-establish since 2010. The safest move for LeBron and his brand is to quietly stay in Miami because of all that.
No. 2: A Commitment to Dwyane Wade
LeBron James entered the NBA in 2003 billed as "The Chosen One." The words are even inked in declaration across his back.
In order to fulfill that legacy, however, James ultimately needed championships to reinforce his place as the league's most talented player.
While searching for help along his way to that first championship, Dwyane Wade welcomed LeBron to the Miami Heat. He even turned over a team and an organization that once dubbed the surrounding area "Wade County" to James upon arrival.
In addition to allowing LeBron the space necessary to be the alpha dog of alpha dogs with the Heat, Wade has also been a significant reason why James won the two championships he did.
So for as long as Wade's wearing a Heat uniform, which expects to be forever, the chances are good that James will be right there with him as a result.
No. 1: You Don't Walk Away from a Dynasty
The Miami Heat will be the favorites to win an NBA championship heading into the 2013-14 campaign.
If they accomplish as much, it will be their third title in as many seasons.
Throughout NBA history, star players don't typically walk away from a dynasty. The reigning MVP on the league's best team especially doesn't leave.
But regardless of whether or not the Heat cash a third one in next season or not, after appearing in three-straight finals and winning two previously, LeBron is likely to continue his championship pursuit in Miami.