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Sorry Cleveland, I had to do it.
For all the bad contracts, the clueless GMs, the terrible owners and the greedy, lazy players out there, I think "The Decision" is at the core of this lockout.
Simply put, a guy like LeBron James sells tickets.
There are only a handful of true "Superstar" players in the NBA. I think these are the players who could potentially lead their team to an NBA Championship with just a little bit of help. My list would include LeBron, D Wade, Kobe, Dwight Howard, Derrick Rose, Chris Paul, Durant and Dirk.
That's it. The rest of the players are just "All-Stars." The guys like Carmelo Anthony, Blake Griffin and Deron Williams? Good players, capable of getting you into the playoffs, maybe even winning a series, but that is about all you're going to get.
I challenge you to disagree with me about that, based on facts.
The truth is, these owners want to stop these guys from forming super teams like the Heat did last year, and like the Knicks are supposedly trying to build by adding a guy like Chris Paul. They want to be able to retain their own star players, and they want to have the roster flexibility to build around them.
With shorter contracts that are not fully guaranteed, the Cavs would have been able to shed guys like Larry Hughes. Maybe they could have signed or traded for a player like Deron Williams instead, giving LeBron another really good player to team up with. Maybe he wouldn't have left Cleveland. Maybe the Cavs would have won the NBA Championship some time in the last three seasons, when they were pretty darn close with LeBron and the rest of that awful roster.
So I'm not blaming LeBron for the lockout, but I do believe "The Decision" and the fallout from that has hardened these owners. They are going to change the system so that something like this doesn't happen again.