If legacy means anything, LeBron has only two options - Cleveland 19 News Cleveland, OH

If legacy means anything, LeBron has only two options

Cleveland (WOIO) - More than a few teams are going to start lining up for LeBron's services soon, as they frantically try to move players, create cap room, and make a serious play for both James and Carmelo Anthony, and while Cavs fans dream of actually being the beneficiary of collusion this time, the smart money says LeBron, when all is said and done, keeps his talents in South Beach.

In fact, despite another long list of suitors, from the Lakers to the Clippers to the Rockets to the Hawks, James really only has two viable options, if he cares anything about his legacy. Coming home, or staying put.

Coming home makes for a great story, and gives the best player on the planet the one thing he hasn't found since bolting town in national disgrace four years ago: redemption.

Staying put shows that he is capable of loyalty, even if it's to his second home.

But moving on to a third city would effectively label him a carpetbagger, an awful look for a guy who understands NBA history and needs to be up there with the legends.

Michael, Larry, Magic and the rest didn't have to bail on their original teams, and stack the odds in their favor, to win titles. Making this type of move a second time would tarnish LeBron's image for good.

But even his actions on Tuesday, when he declared that he's opting out, six days ahead of schedule, didn't reflect well on his reputation. LeBron was basically telling teams 'put a plan together, show me what you've got, make sure the roster is right'. In other words, let's stack the deck again, so he has a strong shot at a title.

The great ones simply don't do this. One day before LeBron made his splash (and make no mistake, that's important to him), Tim Duncan quietly opted in for another year with the Spurs. No fanfare, no Instagram, no network special, no endless speculation. This, on the heels of the Spurs winning their fifth NBA title, but first in seven years. It took time for Duncan and the Spurs to return to the top of the mountain. They kept their core, developed younger talent, and embarrassed the Heat in the Finals.

That should be the goal for LeBron, not move to another town, add water, mix, and win.

That, or return home, while the fan base he discarded is still willing to forgive and forget.

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