The Miami Dolphins have come a long way since they went 1-15 in 2007. No longer the laughingstock of the NFL, there is an excitement about the team. A steady two-year progression, and a tremendous offseason where they added star players on both sides of the ball show that the Dolphins are ready to contend this fall. The fans can feel it. They are just about ready, but they need one more thing. They need one more player to come to Miami. Someone for them to rally around. Someone to bestow onto the city a winning attitude, and add a level of excitement that Miami has not felt in years. They need Lebron James.
We are about to be immersed in the biggest free agency period in the history of sports. On July 1st the NBA free agency period begins, and the landscape of the league is going to change. It’s well documented that the Miami Heat have put themselves in position to be one of the busiest teams in the market, and they have made it no secret as to what they’re after. They want to resign Dwayne Wade, and they want to give him a friend in the form of Lebron James.
I know that Lebron will never throw or catch a pass for the Phins. He won’t make a tackle and he won’t score a touchdown. But his presence in the city will change everything. The Lebron sweepstakes will be the biggest story this summer, and whatever city he goes to will automatically become the epicenter of professional sports. The Dolphins can use that momentum to carry them in the beginning of the season. Imagine the crowd advantage they will have when Lebron James gets introduced on the field for their home opener in September. He could even be given part ownership of the team. He would be right at home with their other celebrity owners.
In addition to the momentum he will give the city as a whole, let’s not forget what he’ll do for the Heat. A Dwayne Wade and Lebron James pairing in Miami would give the Heat a one-two punch consisting of two of the best five players in the NBA. The last team that could claim that was the early 2000s Los Angeles Lakers, a team that won three consecutive championships. A dynasty in Miami with stars of that magnitude would help everything in South Beach. The city’s attitude, its economy, and yes, the other professional sports teams like the Miami Dolphins.
It’s been proven that winning can be contagious within a city. In recent years, Boston, Pittsburgh and New York City have enjoyed championship runs in multiple sports. Even Cleveland, Lebron’s former home, saw universal success in 2007, when he led the Cavaliers to the finals, right before the Browns posted their best record since reentering the league and the Indians came within one game of the World series. These teams feed off of one another, as the Dolphins would with the Heat.
It’s a make or break year for the Dolphins. They are at a crossroads. The pieces have been put into place. Quarterback Chad Henne has been given a high-powered weapon in the form of Brandon Marshall, and a chance to mature and fulfill his destiny as team leader. The defense is under a new direction, and has added key players via the draft and free agency. If this team does not take the next step this year, they will fall back into the abyss that has haunted fans this past decade. It’s do or die, now or never. That is something Lebron James can relate to as a basketball player. He needs to make the right decision, and embark on the second act of his career with a team and a city that is ready for him to lead them to the Promised Land. The Heat are that team. Miami is that city. Everyone there needs it to happen, including the Dolphins.