How Much Does LeBron James Mean to the City of Cleveland?

Heath McGuffCorrespondent IJune 11, 2009

To some, LeBron James is the best basketball player on the planet, and he rightfully deserves to be. LeBron James has done some amazing things since entering the league in '04.

If you ask any coach they will tell you, it is virtually impossible to guard LeBron James for a whole 48 minutes. You cannot stop him from getting his points, you can only limit how many he gets.

LeBron is one of the best built small forwards in the NBA and it shows when he is on the court. James often has the mismatch against whoever has the daunting task of trying to guard him.

After the playoffs, all the talk was about LeBron and if he would be leaving the Cavaliers after the horrific ending to their playoff run.

I'm sure if you asked any Cavalier player they never thought they would have been in that situation.

LeBron led the Cavalier past the Pistons and the Hawks in only eight games, combined. The Magic arrived in Cleveland coming off a tight series with Boston.

Who would have thought they had enough left in them to whip up on the king on his own home court? I know I didn't.

So the question I want to ask is what does LeBron James mean to the Cleveland franchise?

All who know the history of King James know that he was the best athlete coming into the NBA in the '04 season. James was named the National High School player of the year in '02 and in '03 he became the first to repeat winner in the award's 47-year history.

LeBron made a huge impact on the town of Akron, OH. He led St. Vincent- St. Mary to three High School championships in four seasons.

LeBron also was Mr. Basketball of Ohio for three straight years beginning when he was a sophomore in high school.

LeBron totaled 2,657 points, 892 boards, and 523 assists in his four years as a high school player.

LeBron made a huge impact on the City of Akron. So that's what he meant to them in high school. What does he mean to them now?

In his rookie season, James started in 79 games and averaged 20.9 points, 5.5 rebounds and 5.9 assists.

Their is no doubt he is the face of the Cleveland franchise. In '08 Ohio had one of the highest unemployment rates in America. LeBron brought so much to the table in the '07 finals in '08 the ticket sales were tremendously boosted and more Cleveland merchandise was starting to be purchased.

LeBron has stated that he will remain a Cavalier for the '09 season.

Was this the right thing to do at this point in his career? He has been with Cleveland since coming into the league in '04 and has yet to get a ring even though he is one of the best players?

So their is no doubt he means a ton to this town and to the franchise. But look where he is now. At home watching the Lakers and Magic fight for his dream!

So if you were LeBron would you continue to gain the fame and have Cleveland right in you hand or go to another franchise on the verge of winning a NBA title?

So what does LeBron do next year if he were not to win a title with the Cavaliers? Should he ask to be traded or should he stick around be willing to let Mike Brown build a team around him?

Tell me what you think as a NBA fan, do you like James in Cleveland or should he be some where else?