There is nothing I love more during the dead season in sports than premature sports chatter. The talks surrounding the next destination spot for LeBron James have already taken flight and with only a year to go until that talk takes form I would like to shed light on two of them that aren’t the Miami Heat.
Why won’t the Heat be on LeBron’s radar next summer? It comes down to the simple matter of age and injury. Pat Riley brought together an instant championship roster with the addition of the Big Three and since then has acquired bits and pieces of offense, defense, and experience to compliment what the stars on this team do best. Ray Allen, Mike Miller, Chris “Birdman” Anderson, Shane Battier, Rashard Lewis, and Juwan Howard (age 40) are all well over 30 years of age and it will only be a matter of time before their clocks expire. In addition to the fact that Dwayne Wade’s body is deteriorating, it would be naïve to think that LeBron isn’t even slightly contemplating an exit strategy.
Lebron, 28, spent seven years in the league before winning his first title. And now, after two rings, four MVPS, two Finals MVPs, two Olympic golds, and one Olympic bronze he is pressing on towards an unprecedented career. That is if he plays his cards right. Staying with the Heat for the reasons listed above should not be one of the options on the table, but here are two options that should be…
Head Back to Cleveland
How James went about cutting ties with his hometown back when The Decision was made was definitely not a popular one within the lines of Ohio, but the addition of Kyrie Irving and Andrew Bynum should provide enough bang to make the consideration a legitimate one. Irving has already proven to be a great young point guard and after another year under his belt playing with a dominant big man in Bynum, he should have the credentials that are attractive enough to bring aboard James. Bynum, barring some ridiculous injury, will be the pinnacle of everything that Cleveland does this season. Not only will the offense and defense go through him, but the Cavs will go as he goes.
The one obvious negative factor that could prevent James from making this move was because of how he left. In addition to what would be a tension-filled relationship with owner Dan Gilbert, who knows how the fans would react to such a move. Maybe I’m wrong and both Gilbert and Cav fans alike will embrace James just like when he arrived the first time around. If James himself doesn’t think that would be the case than you can count this one out. We all know he’s ready to be seen as the good guy.
Take His Talents To Hollywood
Laker fans have to be feeling crushed after getting passed up by Dwight for the Rockets. The front office is left counting their cards and putting together a back up plan that involves treading water with Pau and Kobe, while pursuing new young blood in the next two years. On paper, Cleveland looks much more attractive than Los Angeles, but if there is one thing that the Lakers will have when Kobe finally calls it quits it will be money and Lebron could not only be the brightest star that he already is, but have the brightest stage. There will be a pleathora of expiring contracts next summer that include Zach Randolph, Anthony Davis, Damian Lillard, and yours truly, Derrick Favors, among others.
In the end, both roads are worth considering, but as we all know the things that can change in a single season is all too common. Until the next Decision, all we can do is wait.