LeBron James showed Tuesday night that once again a championship, or at least the hope of one, can be purchased if the price is right.
LeBron James held court in Cleveland forcing each team to come to him to pitch the reason for their town. It left many with the impression that he didn't want to leave Cleveland, why else would you force people to come to you instead of checking out your future employer's city yourself. In the end though the decision shouldn't have shocked anyone, even as rumors started to circulate that Miami was his top choice.
Pat Riley is a great General Manager, was a great coach and is used to juggling a lot of talent and once again he is going to have to do just that with this group of players. Well, Stu Van Gundy will have to juggle playing time and touches and looks at the basket. Remember James is the same player who quite on Cleveland during a playoff game against Boston and they never got back on track after that.
James had his pick of top notch destinations to play at including New York, Chicago, and obviously Miami. It is pretty easy though to see why he would pick Miami, but more over it wasn't anything Miami really did but so much about the baggage that came with the other teams.
New York is clear cut, he would have truly been "King" but he would be that in any city and the media scrutiny in New York is horrible. If he wasn't getting them into the playoffs (which they haven't sniffed in who knows how long) and making deep runs the media would jump all over him, and did he really want that. Remember how they treated A-Rod. Plus you have the winters, it is cold, wet and yucky, he could have that in Cleveland plus Momma's home cooking.
Chicago, you have the same awful weather, but you have a team that has won more recently than New York, and they are hungry again, but they just made a coaching change, so there will be some rebuilding. Not to mention he would be playing for a cheapa*s in Jerry Reinsdorf. I love the Bulls, I am from Chicago but Jerry is cheap. He underpaid everyone on those six-championship teams and that was fine with him. Jerry was willing to spend the money but would he spend more to get more talent around him? Still, Chicago just acquired Carlos Boozer and they have a wealth of younger talent. It might be interesting if Chicago goes up against Miami in the playoffs and beats them...
Cleveland, this is home and for this writer, I really thought this article was going to be titled something like "A whole lotta nothing." I really figured LeBron would stay in Cleveland, and why not? Momma is there (although he can relocate her anywhere), they love it and have money to throw at him. When Chris Bosh turned down the offer to come to Cleveland I did start to wonder. They also got a new coach which means there is going to be a getting used to each other period. Oh, and I almost forgot it is COLD there too.
Miami, first we can rule out the cold winters because they don't exist and when it is incredibly hot, it is LeBron's off season, which in recent years has been pretty early on in Miami's hot season. LeBron is also single, young and Miami is full of beautiful, tan young ladies, wouldn't that interest any 25 year-old, young-man? The other reason is that both Bosh and Dwayne Wade agreed to play there. It was almost like they took the decision out of LeBron's hands. LeBron wants to win and his best shot is with these guys, so you go where they are--Miami.
The decision was pretty clear, really it should have been clear when the first piece fell and Wade stayed in Miami. What I see as amazing is everyone holds LeBron James in such a high light, they compare him to Michael Jordan, Larry Bird, Magic Johnson but really he isn't. Bird, Magic and Michael made the players around them better. Those guys didn't go running around holding hour-long specials to tell us where they were going or partnering up with friends like it is high school all over again so everyone can sit together at the lunch table. The Lakers, Bulls, and Celtics had stars, had talent but didn't run monopolies on that talent.
ESPN is claiming that LeBron put the NBA on notice with his decision, but the fact is LeBron needs to be put on notice, "You better win, and do it soon."
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