I really thought this whole NBA Free Agency thing was a sHam from the start. I thought LeBron was simply hyping it by saying he’s open himself up to recruitment to increase his visibility in hopes of expanding his global reach. His name and the decision we are just hours from has been talked about for over a year now. LeBron has dominated the news all season and not just with his play, but this pending decision. I truly thought he would listen to other teams but stay in Cleveland. He’s a local hero. It seems like he and the Cavs were meant to be as he was the high school phenom from in-state and the Cavs won the lottery to draft him first seven years ago. He has put Cleveland back on the map in the NBA and has held his team hostage for the past two seasons. The Cavs panicking over the thought of potential loss have tried to scrape together players hoping they could throw a mishmash of talent together around LeBron and he could carry them to a title. It just hasn’t worked though and has cost Danny Ferry and Mike Brown their jobs.
<a href="http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/news/story?id=5363055">ESPN</a> has reported all day that James is headed to Miami to join Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh. I just don’t like that combo and think it’ll mar the careers of all involved. This isn’t a team of three superstars. Chris Bosh is a good player but I don’t think of him as a top 5 or even top 10 player in the NBA. He hasn’t been able to even get his team to the playoffs in a league where over half the teams earn a trip to the postseason each year. A great player does that. Wade is the man in Miami. He was the leader of a NBA Champion there but this now sets up to blow up in his face. Considered the ringleader now of this triumvirate, he’s put tremendous pressure on the whole organization to win now and win again and again. With players hitting their prime, the coach he’s publicly backed Eric Spoelstra , will be under the gun. Anything less than a trip to the NBA Finals next year will probably cost him his job as Pat Riley will more than likely move back to the bench in Miami. Three players simply can’t win a title alone. The heat will have to fill their roster with several minimum contract players and those aren’t the type of keys who step up and make the plays that get a team to a title.
I’m not sure if LeBron fully understands what will happen if he leaves Cleveland. He can forget living in Akron in the offseason. He’ll be as popular in Cleveland as John Elway or Art Modell. People who ripped the hearts out of the Cleveland sports fans years ago, yet are still hated. LeBron will live on an island if he returns to Cleveland. He might as well show up at a Ohio State football game wearing a Michigan jersey. That’s the type of reception he’ll have for the rest of his life. Telling the Cleveland fans, he no longer wants to play there, will bring heat unlike anything he’s ever faced. And he’ll have to remember he’ll be back in Cleveland to play twice a year in a Heat uniform. That’ll be an even bigger game than when Shaq returned to LA after his trade to Miami.
I never considered the Knicks because they’ve just been a terrible teams for years now. They’re still recovering from the disaster of Isiah Thomas. Donnie Walsh got them positioned to make a splash this summer but if LeBron doesn’t come, Knick fans will be crushed. They’ve suffered through the past couple of seasons with dreams of land LeBron. While James might like the big stage, he wants to win and New York just isn’t close to doing that with or without him.
I couldn’t believe it this morning when I heard he was headed to Miami. I just can’t see LeBron telling Cleveland he doesn’t want to be there anymore. It doesn’t seem right and will seem odd having him in another uniform. Ultimately though I’ll get over it because I’m not a Cavs fan and I’ll tune in tonight to watch his special and his first game this fall wherever it maybe. Now we’re just a few more hours away from finding out if LeBron drastically alters the NBA landscape or simply stays at home. What I thought was a sure thing in staying in Cleveland now seems to have real drama. Luckily the drama ends tonight.