Congratulations on your 2nd (back to back) MVP award. I have to admit that I was curious what you might do this year with all the talk about this being your last season in Cleveland. I wondered how you would handle all of the talk about you leaving and how your teammates would handle it as well. I'm not sure you could have had a more statistically dominating season as an individual or as a team player. You lead your team to an astounding 61-21 record (technically you didn't play in the last 4 games, all losses, so 61-17) and the Eastern regular season crown. On top of that you were second in the league in scoring, 33rd in rebounding, and 6th in assists (29.7, 7.3, and 8.6 respectively). As deserving as you were of this award people continue to wonder if you can lead this Cleveland team to a title. Is the supporting cast of Mo Williams, Shaq, Antawn Jamison, J.J. Hickson, Varejao, Z, etc, etc, etc enough to help you get that elusive NBA crown? I have to say I'm not sure you could have done much more. The question is: Can they? After a season like this I hope you get the title you've played so hard for, but after the season is over you will be faced with a difficult task that has been the buzz all season. Should you stay in Cleveland or go to New York, New Jersey, or perhaps a surprise location? NBA fans across the land are anxiously awaiting the remainder of the NBA playoffs, but there are a few fans who can't help but look beyond this year in hopes of bringing your talents to their downtrodden squads. Let's break down what we know real quick and maybe we can venture a guess as to where you'll end up...
You've taken this team to an Eastern Conference Final and lost, but now have them back in the playoffs hoping you can achieve something more. Is an NBA Championship possible? Yes. Is this team capable of making that run more than once? Maybe. Mo Williams is a legit PG, J.J. Hickson is budding young star, and there is good helpers in Jamison and West. The question is the big men. Shaq is aging and Z is always a health risk. Maybe the draft can provide help here, because I don't think Cleveland has the money to go after one of the better big men and pay you.
The Knicks are a joke, but they play in MSG, a basketball mecca. Could you pass up the opportunity to play in the biggest market AND at the same time resurrecting one of the most famous arenas of all time? New York offers budding young stars in Danilo Gallinari and David Lee (if they resign him). Head coach Mike D'Antoni is also believed to be as well respected a coach as there is among his piers and players from Team USA (a team you played on). New York also has big money. Maybe even big enough for two max contracts. So could your signing bring in D-Wade or Chris Bosh as help? That's is quite possible. Would that be enough to bring NY a title? Do they need more depth? Could they afford it with two max contracts?
Some may look at this and laugh, but if you look closer it is possibly the best choice of all. How? Let's see. NJ offers the possibility to play for a new billionaire owner that will want to make something special out of his $700 million investment. Also one of your good friends, Jay-Z, is a minority owner of the club already. With an interim coach you could probably help choose who you would want to play for. Admittedly, you may have to play in NJ for a year or two while the new arena is built in Brooklyn. That may not be glamorous, but once the new arena is built you would have the chance to turn it into the new "MSG". Why play somewhere in the shadow of greatness, when you have a chance to create a legacy of your own. As far as help on the floor, you have an All-Star PG in Devin Harris, a future star big man in Brook Lopez, solid young depth in C.D-R, Terrance Williams, Courtney Lee, and Yi Jianlian, AND NJ may have the #1 overall pick in the draft (J. Wall) AND may have the money for another max contract player or someone in the 2nd tier of FAs.
So Lebron, the choice is yours. We will give you a chance to enjoy your MVP award and we will watch as you try for your first NBA title, but just know that in the back of our minds we'll be wondering, in some cases dieing to know, what jersey will you be wearing next year. Time will only tell.
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