LeBron James: Does He Really Care About Winning a Title?

John SmithContributor IJune 2, 2010

BOSTON - MAY 13:  LeBron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers wipes the sweat from his face in the fourth quarter against the Boston Celtics during Game Six of the Eastern Conference Semifinals of the 2010 NBA playoffs at TD Garden on May 13, 2010 in Boston, Massachusetts. The Celtics defeated the Cavaliers 94-85.  NOTE TO USER: User Expressly Acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
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“My ultimate goal is winning championships.”

That is what LeBron James told CNN’s Larry King, and by only looking at that portion of the quote, LeBron comes off as a real team player who just wants to win.

But is this the real LeBron?

Looking at the entire quote reveals that LeBron only cares about himself.

“I understand that me going down as one of the greats will not happen until I, you know, win a championship.”

It seems as though LeBron only wants a title because people say he can’t be in the same conversation as Jordan, Magic, Bird, or Kobe until he has a title.

In other words, LeBron would be totally content if he wins the MVP year after year without ever bringing home a ring if that would allow him to be considered the greatest of all-time.

Initially, LeBron came off as a great guy trying to turn around a franchise in his home state.

He was a hero, a role model.

But has the power already gone to Lebron’s head?

Recent actions by James (such as just flat out giving up against the Celtics) suggest that James has transformed into a more selfish, spotlight-seeking player.

It is reminiscent of a young Kobe Bryant or Tracy McGrady.

It seems that James is in it only for his legacy at this point.

If LeBron’s “ultimate goal” really is to win a title, then would it even be a decision to stay in Cleveland?

The Cavs, while far from perfect, are still far closer to a title than the Knicks or Nets.

In Cleveland, LeBron has already made a Finals appearance and has proven that the team is capable of deep playoff runs.

If all LeBron wants is a title, then why would he leave the Eastern Conference’s best regular season team?

Sure, pairing with Derrick Rose in Chicago could offer a very legitimate shot at a championship, but so far more of LeBron’s indications point to the world’s grandest stage, New York City.

So unless Dwayne Wade’s free agent “summit” proves capable of actually doing something productive, it is unlikely that LeBron will find any supporting cast better than what he already has right in his backyard. James would be down-right foolish to leave Cleveland.

Besides, the Knicks are the only team that has enough cap space to sign both LeBron and another big-name free agent, and that is only because they spent the last two years jettisoning their team.

In the end, LeBron will get the chance to prove what he’s really about this summer.

If he only cares about glory and attention, he will leave.

But if he truly does want a championship for reasons other than to improve his legacy, LeBron James will stay in Cleveland.

It’s in your hands, LeBron.

Tell us, what are you really about?