The '09 NBA season started over two months ago and I’ve heard so many LeBron rumors that I’ve stopped watching NBA TV. We get it, the man is going to be a free agent at the end of the season. People should stop speculating because the King himself probably doesn’t know where he’ll wind up.
The most interesting thing I’ve heard over the past few weeks is what happens if Miami signs LeBron and Wade? That would put two of the league’s top five players on the same roster and immediately move Miami into the No. 1 slot in the Eastern Conference. Miami fans, don’t get your hopes up. It probably won’t happen and I don’t want to speculate about the ramifications of such a roster.
But it would be an interesting pairing, wouldn’t it? Just imagine Wade throwing alley-oops to LeBron and vice versa. Coach Erik Spoelstra’s head would be spinning and he’d probably have a permanent smile plastered on his mug. If King James signed with Miami, they’re projected lineup for next year would be:
PG Mario Chalmers
SG Dwayne Wade
SF LeBron James
PF Michael Beasley
C Udonis Haslem/veteran free-agent X
No one has a chance against that lineup. The combination of James and Wade would be dynamic and exciting. Chalmers has looked impressive this year, averaging just under 10 points per game and Beasley is starting to get close to tapping into all his talent. Miami would bring another title to South Beach by adding LeBron, but why does something feel wrong about all this?
Just imagine if Bird and Magic played on the same team in their primes. They would have won titles and blown through the rest of the NBA, but there would be no rivalry. Every time the Lakers went to the Boston Garden there was blood in the air. Bird and Magic may not have hated each other, but they played like they did. People wanted to see the two best players in the game go against one another.
We don’t have that in today’s NBA. Kobe and LeBron are supposed to be a rivalry, but both players are at different stages at their careers. Kobe, for all his greatness, has evolved into something much more than LeBron. Just because the two players are marketable and play in two different conferences doesn’t mean they’re rivals. When the Cavs play the Lakers it’s exciting, but it’s not even close to Bird/Magic.
Here’s another bad thing about a LeBron/Wade combo. Who takes the shots in the fourth quarter? Does Wade take half and LeBron gets the other half? Who’s the sidekick and who’s the alpha dog? Both guys are in their prime and both have big egos. Yes, LeBron likes to pass, but how deferring to Wade help him evolve as a player? I think it makes Wade look better if LeBron plays with him.
I’ve heard the interviews with LeBron and read the quotes from him saying all he cares about is winning. That’s a nice thing to say, but I highly doubt he’s taking a mid-level contract to go play with the Spurs to go win a title. Wade and 'Bron are too young to be playing together for a championship.
When Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen got to Boston, they looked to be on the downside of their careers. King James is only 24 years old. He shouldn’t be sharing the limelight with a teammate who may or may not be just as effective as him.
There’s something different about Wade this year and nobody’s really noticed it yet. Wade is starting to “go Kobe” on us. No, he hasn’t gone to Eagle, Colorado. We’re starting to see Wade’s game evolve the same way Kobe’s did. He’s not thrusting himself into the paint as much and has developed a dynamite mid-range game.
Hell, his step-back jumper is reminiscent of Kobe’s. What it means is that Wade is learning to win with his head and that’s a scary thought because he’s only 27 years old.
LeBron, like the great white shark, has never evolved (thanks Ryan Reynolds in Blade 3). He is what he is and that’s better than every player in the NBA. Basketball is a team game, though, and LeBron hasn’t won a championship.
I’m beginning to think that no matter who his teammates are, the Cavs are still going to run the “everybody stand around and let LeBron drive to the hole” offensive scheme. Look what happened against Orlando in the Eastern Conference finals. The Magic had the size to neutralize King James and utilized favorable matchups to beat the Cavs.
Let’s say Wade is turning into Kobe 2.0. Well, Kobe didn’t win his fourth title until he got a legitimate scoring big-man to be his sidekick. Somehow, the Lakers robbed Memphis of Pau Gasol and Kobe got what he needed. Wade is going to need someone like Gasol, and luckily for the Heat, that guy is named Chris Bosh and he’s going to become a free agent this summer.
LeBron’s options are limited because Miami, Cleveland, and Chicago are the only teams in the East that will give him a legitimate shot at winning a title. The Nets and Knicks are too far away. At this point in the season, the Nets and Knicks have 10 wins…combined.
Why the hell would the NBA’s best player go to either of those two teams? The Bulls are much more interesting, but they have Luol Deng and his untradeable contract playing small forward. Wade is the better fit in Chi-town.
Who knows what will happen? Wade and LeBron certainly sound interesting, but I don’t watch the NBA for interesting. I watch to see the best athletes in the world compete at the highest levels. The LeWade or Brade combo would take away a clash of the titans that the NBA so desperately needs.