LeBron James: A Gotsta Go Situation

Bryan ShipleyContributor IJuly 2, 2010

BOSTON - MAY 09:  LeBron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers reacts after a foul is called on him in the second half against the Boston Celtics during Game Four of the Eastern Conference Semifinals of the 2010 NBA playoffs at TD Garden on May 9, 2010 in Boston, Massachusetts. The Celtics defeated the Cavaliers 97-87. 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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A year and half ago, I wrote that 2010 wasn't entirely about LeBron James, and I stick by that. If Bosh or Dirk were to go to Miami, then this could all come together in favor of Dwyane Wade. Hell, they'd still have cash for some of the '11 free agents.

I wrote in that article that LeBron was going to stay. That, I no longer stand by.

It's obvious that after Cleveland's awful playoff performances the past two seasons, and the obvious contrast with the Lakers' success that the Cavs have slipped far down the list of quality choices.

Cleveland's supporting cast doesn't believe in themselves while LA's hardly even needed Kobe to score to win a Game 7 in the Finals.

This is a wretched indictment on the franchise and even more so James himself. As a leader, James has yet to prove he knows what the ''little things'' are.

Kobe Bryant holds his teammates accountable for their mistakes and lack of effort, while at the same time teaching them how to better themselves and down right believe in themselves.

When Bron-Bron has a poor night, he pouts. When Kobe has a poor night, well, the man hits the glass. LeBron needs the help, because he doesn't know how to give it.

Personally, I want to see the Miami Big Three, but Chicago with Rose, Deng, James, Bosh and Noah would be championship caliber in my eyes.

Rose and Noah have the will power that doesn't require outside leadership, while Bosh and Deng are skilled enough at their position to win at least one playoff game on their own each.

Wade, Bosh and James all coached by Pat Riley—now there's a team with talent and the perfect guiding touch. The only thing that could possible top Lakers/Celtics (and please bear with me here Bostonians and Los Angelinos) is Kobe and Phil fighting for a threepeat with the Lakers against that proposed Super-Team coached by none other than Pat Riley, who invented the term "threepeat" with the Lakers no less! Jeesh.

You know what, just add Shaq to the Heat too. Screw it, let's say he plays for chump change just to be a part of the circus. Something he may very well do.

I really think it's Chicago or Miami for LeBron, with Bosh just tagging along. Let's face it, there's no other chance for the guy.

Throughout NBA history there have been few truly tremendous players that have gone without a Championship. The thing is, those are usually the guys who wait around too long in the same second rate situation.

Exhibit A: Patrick Ewing. Exhibit B: John Stockton. Exhibit C: His buddy Karl Malone who left just a bit too late. And so on.

Now guys like Kevin Garnett who bit the bullet while they were still a top tier player, they got their rings. I mean, the Celtics Big Three should be all the proof James needs to bolt.

Top that with the fact that the Cavs aren't even trying to get any one of these guys to their squad!

Chris Bosh has expressed the following: He wants to leave Toronto—he wants to do a sign and trade both to make the most money possible and help the organization that drafted him get at least something, and he wants to play with LeBron.

The Cavaliers could throw any number of contracts and draft picks needed to make the math work at the Raptors in order to get Bosh, and then LeBron wouldn't need to leave home one bit. They have not so much as whispered about this or anything like it though.

Instead what do they have? Guys with signs on street corners begging. The whole town acts like displaced Vietnam Vets.

LeBron James is too great of a player not to win a ring, but Cleveland and him together have proved to be a weak mix. He lacks true leadership, and the guys they've surrounded him with are in desperate need of it.

Leadership is not just passing the ball. Leadership is not just saying you're a leader. Leadership is not just saying you want to win above all, it's showing it.

LeBron James has been publicly flirting with the New York Knicks and several other possibilities for two seasons now. This behavior has held his organization and teammates hostage for those two seasons and has been largely the reason for the lack of his surrounding cast's development as players.

He talks as much about what he needs to do for his legacy as he talks about winning. Michael Jordan did that, but his legacy WAS winning. He knew he was the most important player on the team and in the game, and he made sure you knew it, but he backed it up with success.

Even Kobe Bryant, the most successful player today knows that only Mike could get away with that. Kobe does not get into talks of personal legacy, confessing only to desiring a legacy of championships. Yes, he and Shaq had their alpha dog dispute leading to O'Neal's departure, but Laker brass has long stood by the line that it was a cost/age issue that lead to Shaq's departure.

And look what they got for it! Lamar Odom, and Caron Butler who turned into Kwame Brown who turned into Pau Gasol. The Lakers know what attitudes are congruent to winning, and Kobe knows what attitude is congruent to winning. Bron and Cavs? Uh uh.


Bottom Line:

LeBron + Cavs = More Losing.

LeBron + Somewhere with a winning attitude and players to help shoulder the load = Inevitable Success.


LeBron + Cavs = Patrick Ewing, Karl Malone.

LeBron + Somewhere with a winning attitude and players to help shoulder the load = Kevin Garnett, Shaq.


Gotsta Go.