As it began – on a national platform (albeit a smaller one this time…) – it ends as LeBron James went on SI.com and announced he was going to be returning to Cleveland.
He says, in the article, that there was nowhere other than Cleveland or Miami where he would play and after a lot of time to think about his family and what is best for them. The decision this time is obviously about coming home – and winning a championship that means so much more than almost any other.
However…and it is a big however, he is leaving a team that made the finals 4 straight years to go to one that certainly is not ready at all. He is sacrificing his chance to win now for a chance to win in the future (if Wiggins / Bennett etc can come along) and playing with a team where the players can actually get better and not simply decline. Not many players (exception alert: Kobe!) give up sure things. LeBron wants to win but he is missing an opportunity now. Who else is going to move with Bron? Does Bosh go and join him? Or possibly Kevin Love? If LeBron wants to win now would Cleveland be willing to sacrifice Wiggins? Simply incredible.
So what happens now?
Bosh likely goes to Cleveland or Houston, Kevin Love may be on the table now, Melo probably goes to Chicago for a chance to win a title next year and Cleveland becomes the place to go for free agents. Simply astounding.
Miami and DWade now have the worst possible scenario: this is the end for them. They are shackled to Wade – who literally did everything he could to try and get LeBron to sign there (even going to Vegas and then his flight to Miami) – and have to give him a deal because he knows where the bodies are buried. This is probably the end for Wade and there is no way he can possibly carry a team any more at this stage of his career. Get ready for iso Wade Miami fans as well as a horrific max deal that will give them no flexibility (and keeping Haslem around). Yikes the future is not bright.
Suddenly Bron opting out was not a sign that the Heat were committed to keeping it all together, but rather the beginning of the end. Amazing – Bosh does not sign there for any amount of money. A new day for the NBA and a new favorite may emerge. How many titles will Durant win or Rose in the interim? Could the Clippers steal one?
Once again LeBron has dramatically changed the NBA with his free agency – something Jordan and Kobe can not claim.