Only a handful of players dream about playing for their hometown team when they enter the world of the NBA. Fortunately enough, LeBron James has become that hometown hero for the city of Cleveland, and perhaps for the whole state of Ohio. He should think twice about leaving the Cleveland Cavilers organization.
It would be a devastating encounter for fans to see the superstar they've been hanging their hopes on to land a major championship leave it all behind.
Every sports media outlet has been addressing the Cavaliers loss to the Boston Celtics as an indication that James will leave the city of Cleveland and fly to a new team with a better market.
However, they're not fully aware that the Cavaliers have the best chance of bringing LeBron back for the simple fact that, out of the teams James is being speculated to go to such as the New York Knicks, Miami Heat, New Jersey Nets, and perhaps the Chicago Bulls, the Cavaliers have the best supporting cast and environment for the young superstar.
The Cavaliers organization also has the best chance of overhauling the the coaching staff and players alike to certainly land Number 23 that desired championship.
Even the legendary Michael Jordan thinks James should stay in Cleveland.
"He’s made his mark in Cleveland. I know New York fans would love to have him, but you need a lot more components than just one player," Jordan told Hooped Up.
Rightfully so. And the Cavaliers do have the best components for James to contend for a championship by trading or even signing free agents.
Shaquille O'Neal , who is a free agent this summer, will most likely not be awarded another deal by Dan Gilbert, the owner of the Cavaliers. Despite thinking he can still play, the 7'1'' 38-year-old center will certainly not get half of the money he was earning from the Cavaliers.
"I missed 360 games because of injury in my career, so by my calculations I still have 3.7 years left," O'Neal told the Plain Dealer. "That means I'm going to play until I'm 41. I've been here 17 years but I've missed a lot of games, so I still feel I can play this game," O'Neal told the Cleveland Plain Dealer.
In addition, with Shaq's $20 million contract coming to an end, it will make it less of a challenge financially for the Cavaliers to re-sign the 25-year-old superstar.
Antawn Jamison will likely be a good trade-bait for the Cavaliers to use in landing a big-time player to aid the 25-year-old in reaching the Larry O'Brian trophy next year.
The same scenario applies to Mo Williams , who was one of the worst playoff performers on the team. Many contending teams next season such as the Dallas Mavericks, Miami Heat or even the Los Angeles Lakers could use the 6'1'' point guard. If he learns to play the game the right way defensively and learn not to follow his shooting temptations on offense, he will be one of the top guards in the league.
If the Cavs organization do not fire Mike Brown, the head coach, it'll be one of the major blunders that halts the signing of James. Brown is downright one of the best defensive coaches in this league, but one of the poorest offensive ones as well. His offensive plan, since drafting James, was basically to somehow craft a scheme that makes every single play go through the 25-year-old.
Once teams like the Celtics fully understood that plan in the 2008 playoffs, along with the Orlando Magic in 2009, they were capable of completely stopping the whole team. The Cavs, as a result, ended up being eliminated before heading to the NBA finals.
The Cavs players also have had this feeling that James was the player controlling the team, not Brown. And when a coach allows his star player to become a decision maker and somewhat disregard his decisions, it only spells disaster.
Phil Jackson, for instance, has never let the fans and players alike on the Lakers roster feel, just for one second, that his superstar Kobe Bryant controls the team--an area which is often overlooked when it comes to the success of these two NBA legends.
Therefore, Brown will function well as an assistant to a well-rounded coach that could land in Cleveland like John Calipari, Byron Scott, Doug Collins, or even a surprise possibility of the "Zen Master", Jackson.
City of Cleveland
Cleveland is about 40 minutes away from James' hometown of Akron, where he has become the city's most iconic representations. His friends, family, and people he has known his entire life are there to support him. It is rather difficult for a player of James' caliber to totally dismiss such an environment.
Bill boards and advertisements of James and the Cavaliers are scattered everywhere you go in the city of Cleveland. James does not need a bigger market like New York to feed off the millions, because James is a market himself.
He does not need anymore endorsements and does not need to increase his market value in any way. In addition, he will be considered a Cleveland hero if he lands a championship in the upcoming years.
But one thing James has to consider before winning that championship lies in his will to land the trophy. His will to push his team for the championship, whatever team it might be, will make him an NBA champion.
It won't be how many shoe deals he gets or how many college basketball players he lures into his marketing agency, it will be his will. And that, will ultamitely define his status in NBA history.