By now we’re all a bit exhausted from the free agency circus which started July 1st and hasn’t disappointed us in terms of entertainment, annoyance,irritation and a longing for it to conclude already. The build up to this year’s free agency period was like no other as the entire NBA world counted down to July 1st as if it were New Years Eve in Times Square and we’re waiting for the gigantic ball to drop.
In this case, the gigantic ball was LeBron James. LeBron’s been holding court in downtown Cleveland the past few days as he’s attentively listened to the sales pitch from teams looking to acquire his services. Although, how the Clippers were invited to this party or ever thought they had a realistic chance at LeBron is beyond me because James is not going to LA to play second fiddle to Kobe Bryant. The Clippers presentation was devoid of glitz and glamour as well as their owner Donald Sterling who’s track record as an individual is one that rivals the lower sect of society. The Knicks, Nets and the Heat all have given their presentation to LeBron with Cleveland and Chicago the remaining teams to sit-down with James. Talk out of Cleveland is that LeBron is going to make his decision sooner rather than later with Monday being a distinct possibility of him letting everyone know which team he’s signing with and that team should be the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Home is where the heart is and for someone as loyal as LeBron James its hard pressed to see him leaving his throne in Cleveland. Who hasn’t dreamt about winning a championship in their hometown, who hasn’t thought of growing up and experiencing professional success in their city and LeBron has been living a dream since he entered the league. The right decision for LeBron is to stay in Cleveland and build upon his legacy which will undoubtedly take a hit if he goes elsewhere. If LeBron decides to leave Cleveland, he not only damages his reputation but he also sets him a level below Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant as both of them won rings without having to go to another team to do so.
For Cavalier fans the thought of LeBron leaving is akin to them experiencing a face to face meeting with the holy ghost. Everyone in Cleveland is terrified at the possibility of the hometown kid leaving to play elsewhere as it would permanently stain Dan Gilbert’s tenure as owner of the Cavaliers. To Gilbert’s credit he’s had an aggressive off-season as he’s gotten rid of both his coach and GM and brought in a new head coach with a championship pedigree, Byron Scott who’s vowed to bring a style of play which is more conducive to players especially LeBron. Gilbert has also reportedly made it known he’s looking to acquire talent and rid the Cavaliers of the individuals who’ve continually come up short in the playoffs such as Mo Williams. By Gilbert being as progressive as he’s been since the end of the season it only bolsters his standing with LeBron which is a great sign towards keeping him in Cleveland.
When LeBron sits down this weekend to think things over and come to a resolution about where he’s headed next season it should be an easy choice for him as its hard to envision him bailing on Cleveland. The Cavaliers are on the brink of breaking through as they’ve experienced great regular season success and the next step for them as a team and franchise is to carry that through to a championship. With a new head coach, a new style of play and the ability to bring in new players who can take some of the load off LeBron, it keeps the Cavaliers in the upper echelon of contenders in the NBA. No need to worry Cavalier fans, your King is not vacating his throne anytime soon.