LeBron James' Legacy: Why Miami Doesn't Add Up

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LeBron James' Legacy: Why Miami Doesn't Add Up
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Outside the Boys and Girls Club in Greenwich, well after the crowd had left, two young baseball players beamed as they walked through a parking lot mostly populated by television crews and live trucks. 

Like hundreds of others, they went to the club that night hoping to get at least a passing glimpse of LeBron James. Instead, fate brought them face-to-face with the reigning NBA MVP.

One of them admitted being a fan of the New York Knicks, another a fan of the New Jersey Nets. Earlier that night both hoped to land King James on their team's roster.

Neither got their wish, yet neither was disappointed as they talked of their chance meeting, the autographs, and their opportunity to ask Lebron away from the lights and cameras of network television why he chose a team other than theirs. 

It was, they said, because of his legacy.

If LeBron James' career ended today, he would already have some remarkable accomplishments.

At 25 years old he has won olympic gold,  became the youngest person to score 10,000 points in his career, the youngest to score 15,000 regular season points, the youngest to score at least 40 points in a game, the youngest rookie of the year, the youngest to record a triple double, and as a Cleveland Cavalier he became the youngest player in the NBA to average at least 30 points a game in a season.

He has been a six-time NBA All-star, and in seven seasons has twice been named the NBA's Most Valuable Player.

Although he led the Cavaliers to the NBA Finals for the first time in franchise history and set numerous individual team records, the move to Miami was solely about him winning multiple championships. 

Lost in the numbers, what LeBron may not have calculated, is what the move will actually do to his legacy.

By the numbers:

Fantasy owners already are making a note of the impact Miami's aquisition of LeBron James, Chris Bosh, and Dwayne Wade may have on each of their single season statistics. 

Because each will have to share the same ball, Matt Buser of Yahoo Sports wisely concludes "How exactly this will play out has yet to be seen, but there is no way for them to continue their current rates, period."

Buser makes a very good point.

While playing with Bosh and Wade Lebron's single season statistics can be expected to decline, which will put the brakes on his fast accumulation of NBA records for his age.

Becoming a league MVP again seems unlikely, since that honor should go to the one individual who by himself has single handedly changed the fortunes of their team.

Take LeBron's 29.7 points, 8.6 assists and 7.3 rebounds per game away from the Cavaliers in 2009-10, and his individial impact during his MVP season in Cleveland was far more valuable than it will be in Miami where he will play more of a supporting role in an all star cast.

And then there are the championships he hopes to accumulate.

Even if LeBron helps the Heat win multiple championships, as he clearly hopes, as long as he is playing in Miami, Dwyane Wade—who already won an NBA title in 2006, will always have one more. Wade will always be "the man" in Miami, and like Michael Jordan—who never left Chicago to accumulate titles—it will be Wade's legacy, not LeBron's.

 

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