I chose this picture on purpose. To me, it symbolizes a choice that LeBron will be making in the next two weeks.
Et tu Bron?
Look around at the other teams in the "LeBron Chase".
- Chicago Bulls: The same team that chased Phil Jackson and Michael Jordan. The team that has never paid the luxury tax to go over the cap. This Bulls team? What is so amazing about this team? I can't be the only person who has no idea how Rose and LeBron can play together right? Is Joakim Noah any better than Anderson Varejao? Noah averages 14 and 14 over 40 minutes per game. Varejao averages 12 and 10. Is that worth going to the Bulls? If the Bulls are such a great franchise, why did the best player in Bulls history play out his career in Washington?
- Los Angeles Clippers: Really?
- New Jersey Nets: Devin Harris, Brook Lopez and Derrick Favors is a tempting trio. Add in Jay-Z and a brand new Russian Owner and you can see why the Nets are intriguing to LeBron. Did I mention that this team lost just under a billion games last season? If you add LeBron, the team becomes better. But does it close the 49 win gap between the two teams last season? If LeBron is all about winning, why the Nets?
- New York Knicks: Again, even if they add Joe Johnson, is this any better than Cleveland? The Knicks starting PG next season will probably be Toney Douglas. Douglas, Johnson, James, Gallinari and Eddy Curry. Anyone think that teams wins 50 games? I sure as hell don't.
- Miami Heat: This is by far the funniest one to me. First of all, Stephen A. Smith has already gone on record that the trio of LBJ, Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh will all make it to South Beach this offseason. Someone want to explain to me how they are going to pay three players max money? Maybe they will all leave millions of dollars on the table. Sure. Or why LeBron or Wade would be willing to play second fiddle to one another? This isn't a Karl Malone going to the Lakers at the end of their career, this is asking Bird to Magic's wingman. Does that sound plausible to anyone? Add in the fact that the Miami front office has sat on their hands for the past two seasons, letting Wade play with a surrounding cast that wouldn't even make the Kentucky Wildcats jealous. Other than a kick ass nightlife, what is the real appeal of Miami? Being the second banana to Wade doesn't make sense to me.
Let me start with this. I want LeBron back. Not since Jim Brown has this city had a player that has been as good as LeBron. These kind of players usually only come around every 50 years or so.
But I can't shake the feeling of exasperation when it comes to LeBron. When is enough enough? How many times do I need to see him wearing Yankee hats, and coyly answering questions about what teams he wants to play for? Everyday I have to read a new story about how Team X can't wait for LeBron to join their team. Has any other player in any other sport put their team and fans through this kind of torture before? I don't remember Jordan making the rounds.
The man who should be really pissed is Dan Gilbert. Here is a man who has spared no cost in pleasing James. Anything LeBron has wanted he has got. He needed a wingman. They get Larry Hughes. He needed a scoring guard, they get Mo Williams. He needed a power presence, they get Shaq. He needed a deeper bench, they add Moon, West and Powe. He needed outside shooting, they get Parker. Name me one other NBA team that has done this for their superstar.
Wade hasn't gotten it in Miami. Melo doesn't get it in Denver. Kobe doesn't get it in L.A. (Remember the whole Bynum for Jason Kidd fiasco?). Yet, LeBron gets it here, and it may not be enough.
Maybe Jimmy Soul said it best. LeBron is the Supermodel. He is the one everyone wants to dance with. Maybe that Supermodel just isn't worth it. Isn't that possible? You treat the Supermodel better than anyone else has ever been treated, yet she still flirts with the gardener. At some point in time, you have to be fed up with it right?
Look at who LeBron is flirting with! We are looking at four teams that have GUTTED their entire roster for the chance to sign him. You would think that it would take 2-3 more years for the roster to be shaped around him. That would make LeBron 27-28 with 9-10 years in the league with no championships. In other words, he would be Tracy McGrady. A great player that chased the dollars and waited for a team to be built around him.
Is that worth walking away from a back-to-back 60-win team? Is that the legacy LeBron wants?
That is the answer that we will get this offseason. What legacy does LeBron want? Are you the global icon who wants to sell shoes in China? The best friend of Jay-Z? The club hopper in South Beach? Or are you the guy who captured a towns imagination and made us believe that something truly great can happen in Cleveland?
Clock is ticking LeBron, who are you really?