He can make more money with a longer contract here, it's his home, he's won a lot of games here, he doesn't want to leave his comfort zone, and he doesn't want to be shunned from his hometown. These are the most popular responses that Cavaliers' fans return fire with as they stand on pins and needles amidst the national media and every major American city launching an all-out attack on the city of Cleveland and the Cavalier franchise. At midnight, LeBron will cross that barrier and become an unrestricted NBA free agent for the first time, and there's little the Cavaliers can do until the process plays out and the franchise's fate for the next five to ten years is determined. On this historic night in Cleveland sports history, I have some thoughts that might as well come out now if they're ever going to.
For me, the overriding factor here is legacy. Regardless of what others may say, if LeBron James is able to win a title for the city of Cleveland and break its curse, it would go down as one of the most profound things to happen in NBA history, Cleveland sports history, and professional sports history. Going to Chicago or New York or Miami or Los Angeles, places where people have already paved the way is nothing but a copout. He's already done most of the heavy lifting. The team's establishing a winning, defensively powerful culture that is one of the best in the league. It's a team that has made it into at least the second round of the playoffs the last five seasons. That's while constantly retooling in a neverending effort to improve the roster and please LeBron.