LeBron James: Why Not Indiana?
Hear me out on this one. Why not Indiana?
Don't even mention this idea to your posse because they will shoot it down faster than Plaxico Burress at a strip club.
Please forget that less than a week ago I called you, "over-hyped, over-marketed, and an overrated basketball player." As well as other harsh comments such as, "saying his name in the same sentence as Michael Jordan , Magic Johnson, or Larry Bird is an insult to some of the fiercest competitors the game has ever seen."
By now every feasible city and team in the NBA are figuring out ways to roll out the red carpet for you, "The King."
Cleveland put together a lame song titled, "We are LeBron," with the lyrics, "Just tell us King, what changes we must make, We'll rename every street 'LeBron' if that's what it takes..."
Los Angeles will hold a, "Bring LeBron to the LA Clippers" Clippers-Examiner~y2010m5d17-Bring-LeBron-to-the-LA-Clippers-rally-set-for-May-27th" target="_blank">rally on May 27th, where all 25 non-Lakers fans will attend to show you love.
Miami has South Beach (touche) and Michael Beasley (sarcasm.)
New Jersey has that new hip Russian owner, Jay-Z, the new arena under construction in Brooklyn, and running mates consisting of Brook Lopez, Devin Harris, and whoever they draft at No. Three (sorry no John Wall.)
New York gives you Spike Lee, David Lee, bomb scares, and the whole media pressure of NYC on your back. If you thought Cleveland was rough, wait until a few bad games at Madison Square Garden.
Do you really want to go to Chicago and play in the shadow of Michael Jordan? Not to mention the President of the United States is campaigning for your services in "The Windy City."
How about looking upward and seeing these stare back at you.
Although the Bulls give you Derrick Rose , speculation of John Calipari as head coach, and plenty of other solid players to win your first NBA Championship, don't you want to go somewhere where you can build your own legacy and not be constantly compared to the greatest basketball player of all-time?
So why not Indiana?
"My father made him an offer he couldn't refuse." — The Godfather
To quote Hoosiers coach Tom Crean "It's Indiana, bottom line, it's Indiana."
If Peyton Manning can appear on Saturday Night Live and every other commercial featuring an athlete, wouldn't you be able to warrant the same media hype in the perceived "small market" town?
Imagine you and Peyton in the same city.
You talk about being famous, wealthy, and successful as your main career objectives. Indianapolis is currently ranked as the 33rd largest metro in the country, but is the only metro in the Midwest to have economic growth every year since 2001.
Indianapolis also ranks as one of the most affording housing markets in the US. Meaning your mansion in the Circle City will be a hell of a lot cheaper than a palace in Chicago or New York.
Think of the other perks the city has to offer as well:
— You could drive the pace car at the Indianapolis 500 . I'm sure you would also be allowed to drive the car at the NASCAR race too. Hell, just buy a racing team!
— Court-side seats at Hinkle Fieldhouse to watch the Butler Bulldogs (Kentucky who?)
— 50 yard line seats in Lucas Oil Stadium to watch your boy Peyton and the Indianapolis Colts .
— Host the 2011 "King James Super Bowl Bash" party for the biggest sporting event located in your new city.
— The hosting of the Big 10 Tournament and Final Four on a regular basis.
— Throw out the first pitch at an Indianapolis Indians game (ok, so it's not quite the Yankees!)
Those are just a few of the attractions your new city has to offer.
Now let's get to your main objective: playing and winning an NBA Championship on the Indiana Pacers and turning Conseco Fieldhouse into the house that LeBron Built.
The Pacers were a once proud franchise that found success in the ABA, winning titles in 1970, 1972, and 1973.
However, they struggled with the transition to the NBA until the mid 1990s in which Reggie Miller led the team to multiple conference finals.
The Pacers lost several series in seven games to the Knicks and Bulls that remained a road block to the NBA Finals until 2000.
After finally beating the Knicks to advance to the Finals, the Pacers lost to a Shaq and Kobe led Lakers team in six games.
The brawl in Detroit and the retirement of Miller left the franchise and fan base in a trance, not reaching the Playoffs or attendance expectations since 2006.
King James, you have the power to turn the franchise around and regain the faithful of "Hoosier Hysteria". Indiana is known for it's basketball pride, and the most talented player on Earth would be fully embraced the way the skinny kid from UCLA was.
There are plenty of talented players on the current Pacer roster that would allow you to to make a run at immortality.
Danny Granger is a star that lacks a wing man. He could be your Scottie Pippen. There are plenty of players you might confuse with your accountant including Troy Murphy, Mike Dunleavy, Tyler Hansbrough, Josh McRoberts , and Jeff Foster , but all show heart in becoming key supporting players.
Brandon Rush and Roy Hibbert s how promise, but need leadership direction. You could be their guiding light the way you helped Anderson Varejao.
Now the point guard and coaching situation is a bit murky. Last year TJ Ford received the Jamaal Tinsley treatment without the lap dance. Head coach Jim O'Brien hasn't had a winning record in Indiana and is in the last year of his contract.
If O'Brien's high scoring offense with no defense motto fails to make the Playoffs next year, he will join your former coach, Mike Brown, in the unemployment line.
You could convince your buddy John Calipari to come on board the following year after he reiterated he would stay at Kentucky this year.
Then there's Larry Bird . An all-time great player, a good coach, and a below-average front office executive.
If Larry Legend was able to build a team around you, that would rekindle his basketball genius reputation.
Feel free to bring some of your friends to Indiana too, namely Carlos Boozer and Chris Bosh!
So why not start over in Indiana?
You are still a short drive from your hometown Ohio, playing for a fan base that loves a competitive basketball team, a city that has endless sports and business opportunities, and you wouldn't be scrutinized like in New York.
I am pretty sure you can deal with a Bob Kravitz column .
Reggie didn't win a championship either, but we still love him!
LeBron, forget my negative comments from last week and start a new legacy in basketball rich Indiana to prove you are the greatest basketball player of your generation, without all the excess baggage in Chicago or New York.
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