5.13.10

NBA: Is the Future Brighter in NYC?

words_Nick Engvall

LeBron James has essentially been the savior for Cleveland professional sports  ever since the Cavaliers were lucky enough to land him with the first pick in the draft in 2003. All throughout the season there has been speculation from everyone under the sun that the superstar is ready to head for the Big Apple as soon as he hits free agency at the end of the season.

With the Cavs facing elimination against the Celtics tonight, basketball fans will be glued to the game in a couple hours, hoping to see what’s next for King James. While Cleveland fans hope for a game seven, and some new life in the step of their prized possession, New York fans are hoping LeBron’s poor performance in game five was an early sign that he is tired of The Forest City.

For those out there questioning LeBron’s commitment, remember you can count the number of bad games he has had on one hand. For seven years in the league, that’s a very silencing statistic, even to the loudest of down-talkers.

LeBron is a competitor who hates to lose. Not even the temptations of one of the world’s most impressive cities can change that. LeBron wants to win, and a bad game is no reason to question that.

How important is LeBron James to the city of Cleveland, or maybe more importantly, to the NBA?

First remember, no matter what he chooses to do at the end of the season, LeBron will go on to be remembered as one of the greatest to ever play the game. Regardless of where he chooses to play, he will continue to be one of the best in the league. Great players have succeeded by both sticking with their team (think Michael Jordan in Chicago), and by choosing to move to a bigger market (think Kareem Abdul-Jabbar leaving Milwaukee).

For Cleveland and its fans, life without LeBron would be hard to swallow. This season would likely feel like a repeat of the 1992 playoffs, the recovery time just might take a little longer. It would however create a new disdain and rivalry with the Knicks.

Then consider, that the best thing for the NBA as a whole would likely be a cross country rivalry between the two biggest stages in the US, Los Angeles and New York, LeBron versus Kobe, Knicks versus Lakers.

Or maybe all of this speculation is exactly that, and despite all the anticipation and doubters, it is simply a game. Albeit a game basketball fans won’t want to miss.


Author:

6 Comments

  • First – I think the way he’s been under the microscope the last couple days is the most disgusting thing I’ve ever seen in sports. I’ve never seen people obsess over a bad game like this.

    Coming into the playoffs, I thought he was a lock to stay in Cleveland. And, while I still think he does, I do see a tidbit of a chance that he’ll leave now.

    People say that losing will make him more likely to leave…but I don’t know. Seems like the kind of guy who would stay to silence critics. Make sure he finishes a job he starts.

    However – this does depend on what other GMs are able to do this summer. If they can lure in Wade or Bosh, with a couple other really good role guys, it’d be hard to pass up. Especially in a big market.

    I still believe that Chicago has the best “ready” combination of deal sweeteners. Good young players, money, big market.

    All in all, I still think LeBron stays, Bosh and Wade play in Miami. Who knows, though.

  • LeBron has definitely been under the microscope. I don’t think this series, or how the Cavs finish has any relevance to him staying or going. He is a professional, he’ll see what options are thrown his way in the off season and then decide.

  • Nene33:

    All season I’ve said he’s staying, but these Playoffs, I think a couple of problems came to surface, that makes me think now, there’s a good chance he’s leaving, or Coach Brown’s leaving.

    I’m actually doubting if the Cavs front-office, and coaches aren’t too afraid to displease LeBron, because a lot of decisions seem to be aimed at just that, they seem to forget about winning it all, especially coach Brown seems to have trouble keeping those 2 things apart.

    Plus I had the same feeling Barkley got, he wasn’t going all-in anymore, he was holding back(which looked more like angy Iverson just wanting to go home, than a Superstar desperate to win).

    Which doesn’t have to mean anything, but with the way they lost, and the way LeBron looked while playing this series, I think someone’s gonna leave, either coach Brown, or LeBron, because in this configuration the Cavs can’t win, which throws it wide open, unless the Cavs can get a good coach in quickly.

  • Well, it looks like Coach Brown is out. Which, had to be done.

    the idea of throwing a crapload of money at Phil Jackson came up – and I have to say, I like the idea. The man has a track record of taking great players, and making them legendary. With Phil – you get instant credibility. “Expectations” are at a whole new level. Phil demands excellence, and I don’t think a Phil-lead Cavs team would have turned in these last couple performances.

    And of course, the win-win would be bringing LeBron back with a signing like that.

  • Nene33:

    Phil would be great, he can deal with the biggest Superstars, and still coach to win, that should seriously improve the team’s chances, and should be a great incentive for LeBron to stay.

  • Nene33:

    If the rumors about Delonte and Gloria James turn out to be true though, it’s done, he’s gone.

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