Is LeBron leaning toward Cleveland, or looking West?
CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - As we close in on The Decision: Part 3, most predictions have it narrowed to two teams: the Cavaliers and the Lakers.
Which isn't to say he couldn't end up in Philly. In fact, that's how LeBron has historically operated. With an element of surprise, until everyone realizes that "Hey, this move makes sense!"
Remember, very few people were talking about South Beach back in 2010, and not many had him coming home in 2014.
The one thing most national writers seem to agree on, though -- and it's an all-too-familiar insult -- is that it won't be Cleveland. As in, "Why would he want to stay here?".
And of course, there are reasons he'd want to stay here. The same reasons he outlined in his essay four years ago. His home. His family. His foundation. Those reasons haven't changed. But one thing has. He's already delivered a championship. Which, to some, opens the door for another exit.
Which brings me back to the national writers. At least one of 'em has had LeBron leaving for 10 months. Chris Sheridan, who correctly called LeBron's homecoming in 2014, tweeted this last August:
"NBA source said today: 'This will be LeBron's final season in Cleveland. He is 100 percent leaving. Relationship with owners beyond repair.'"
And, if you watched LeBron blow by Dan Gilbert on the way to the trophy presentation in Boston last month, you don't feel any better about that tweet.
But is that reason enough to leave? It's always been about business, and LeBron can make far more money here. $40 million a year in a max deal. Thing is, his endorsements dwarf that number, so, no, it's not just about his hoop salary.
If it's about brand, well, there's one place that has the room, and the money, and can't be topped when it comes to global appeal: L.A.
But, you go to L.A., you gotta win. Especially if you bring your All-Star buddies with you. The pressure will be greater in L.A. than here in Cleveland, where, let's face it, he has the greatest set-up in sports: When they win, he gets all of the credit. When they lose, he gets none of the blame.
So here's my question to Cavs fans: if you knew now that LeBron, for family and foundation reasons, will choose to stay and ride out his career with the Cavaliers, but -- because of an overpaid roster, and eventually Father Time, those Finals runs will end -- would you take it? Over losing him, and starting over?
Of course. He may not be able to orchestrate another Big 3 at the moment, and he may have dwindling options as this thing plays out, but, he's still the greatest player in the world. And it'd be special to continue to watch him play.
Even as most media members bet against it.
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