NBA source said today: “This will be LeBron’s final season in Cleveland. He is 100 percent leaving. Relationship with owners beyond repair.”
— Chris Sheridan (@sheridanhoops) August 16, 2017
LeBron James, “The Chosen One”, Ohio’s favorite son, is reportedly bailing on his team AGAIN come next off season. While we’re still a year away from anything remotely close to this actually happening, the speculation that he would be heading out West to join the LA Lakers or Clippers has been here for some time now. There are so many factors to this, but I can’t help but laugh at how unstable the Cavaliers’ organization is.
Reports have been flying all over the place this off-season that he hasn’t been happy with Cleveland’s soft approach to free agency. That added onto the fact that Kyrie wants absolutely nothing to do with him anymore and himself wants out of Cleveland, really starts to make you think that the chances of The King actually leaving his throne again are pretty realistic.
When all of these rumors started coming out that he was heading to LA next summer, I didn’t believe them at first. I don’t like LeBron for my own reasons, but I thought he had really changed since his return to Cleveland. He still acts like a baby when things don’t go his way, but I felt that he was in Cleveland for the long run. I continued to believe that after they won the championship last year. Since his return they have put a team around him that is built for success, and could continue to be successful for years in the weak Eastern Conference. But once things started to shake up with Kyrie and you start to look back at some of the little things, all signs point to his departure.
If he was really committed to Cleveland for the long haul, why would he not sign a long-term deal with them? The recent trend with star players in free agency has been to sign one-year deals so they can either bet on themselves to earn more money or take less money to help the team. We saw KD do it this summer when he took less than the max so his Warriors could have the flexibility to sign guys like Nick Young and re-sign Andre Iguodala and JaVale McGee. But when it comes to LeBron, he has his own agenda. He doesn’t have to bet on himself for one reason, he’s LeBron James.
His name alone could earn him a max contract for the next 5 years if he were to hit free agency because we all know what he is capable of. We also know that he is never going to take less than the max because we have yet to see him do so, even though he is one of the highest paid athletes in the world. So there really isn’t a reason for him not to sign a longterm deal other than the fact that he was never going to stay long-term to begin with, even though he leads us to believe he is.
I want to put all the blame on LeBron, but part of me feels the need to blame Cleveland’s ownership as well. Dan Gilbert is almost as much of a clown as Roger Goodell. If he really lets LeBron James leave his team twice in less than an 8 year span, he should consider selling the team. Why even continue to try at that point? You’re NEVER going to see a player like that actually want to play for Cleveland ever again. This league is driven by super stars right now, and without LeBron he will have a very tough time convincing one to sign, especially given his ineptitude to run a franchise. It’s the same reason why he didn’t bring back David Griffin as GM, who LeBron actually had a good relationship with. It amazes me how one person can be so stupid.
As a Celtics fan I would love to see LeBron leave Cleveland again. It would make the path to the Finals in the East WAY easier, and we’d get to watch him lose to Golden State every year in the playoffs. Does it get much better than that?
Written By: Nick Cherico (@NickCherico2)