So if you’re a sports fan and you’ve happened to turn on ESPN anytime within the past 48 or so hours, you’ve probably heard the name Lebron James mentioned a few hundred times. Basically the man is the most sought after free agent in the history of the NBA and Lebron stands to make a ton of money. Now everyone and their mother has an opinion on this, and I’m no different. Lebron has been described as the second coming of Jordan, the King, possibly the greatest player to ever play the game, so on and so on. Now those things may be true, but in order for those high praises to be truthful he has to win, and I’m not talking A championship.
1 championship will garner him respect but that’s it. He needs to win multiple rings. As it stands, the greatest player in the modern era, Michael Jordan, is the measuring stick with 6 rings. Kareem Abdul-Jabar also has 6. Behind them are Magic Johnson and Kobe Bryant with 5 and Shaq and Tim Duncan with 4. Now Lebron has always said he wants to win more than anything else, and I believe him, but question is what steps is he willing to take to make that happen? The fact of the matter is in today’s NBA it’s impossible for a star to win a championship alone. Jordan didn’t start winning until Pippen came along. Kobe wouldn’t have 3 of those 5 rings without Shaq and the last 2 championships he’s won came with the emergence of Pau Gassol.
The fact is the current supporting cast Lebron has in Cleveland isn’t enough to get him those titles he’s looking for. And while Chicago is definitely an upgrade from Cleveland, he’ll be playing in the shadow of Jordan and nothing short of 7 rings will do for the fans there if he truly wants to replace Jordan as the greatest ever. Not to mention, while Derrick Rose would be a good Robin to Lebron’s Batman, the Bulls as a team are still a good couple of years away from being a championship contender. So what’s left? New York? Only if he wants to be THE MAN and have more money than he’ll ever need to spend in life because he can’t win there. At least not as fast as he wants. New Jersey? They’re about three or so years from being any kind of force in the NBA. How about the LA Clippers? While I think the overall team is sound and Lebron would be a good fit with them, let’s face it, LA Is Kobe’s town, and the Lakers are L.A.’s team. And something tells me Lebron isn’t trying to play in Kobe’s shadow while playing on a team that’s second fiddle to the town’s more established franchise.
So what then? The answer, for anyone who knows basketball, and for Lebron, even if he doesn’t want to admit it, is very simple…Miami. If Lebron is truly all about winning like he says he is, then teaming up with Wade, to go along with a budding star in Michael Beasley and a coach in Pat Riley (because you know he’s coming out of retirement if Lebron joins that team) that’s an all but guaranteed spot in the finals for years to come. Not to mention the possibility of Chris Bosh joining the heat too. That’s an almost unstoppable team. If Lebron wants to win, the choice is simple, he and Wade should team up in Miami and make multi-runs towards a championship, because with the exception of maybe Orlando, there aren’t any other teams in the East who could withstand such a combination.
Now if Lebron wants to be THE MAN all on his own, then more power to him, though he’ll be waiting a lot longer to win a championship by himself. In the end, Lebron shouldn’t let his ego get in the way of what could be one of the greatest careers in the history of the NBA (if he takes the right steps). Fact is I’ve seen too many players leave perfectly good teams where, if they would’ve stayed a couple of more years, could’ve won a championship, or at least make it to the finals. Instead they didn’t want to share the spotlight, and wanted to be the big man in town and run a team all on their own, and when it was all said and done, the only thing they won were some games and nothing else. Lebron could fall into that trap easily if winning alone is worth more to him than sharing the spotlight. Either way…we’ll all be witnesses.