A lot of noise about where’s Lebron going after his losing game two of the Eastern Conference finals.
He doesn’t have to go anywhere. He’s the prodigal son. He came back to Cleveland because he supposedly wants it there. By coming back, he is saying he likes to stay home for good despite knowing what kind of team he was getting into.
Why come back to a home he doesn’t want to be in the first place? Just to help them win their only championship, then leave again? He could have taken his title somewhere else where he is happy.
I don’t get why James would want out if speculations are true.
He seems to forget that fans do not only root for the players, they also root for the teams. I know he doesn’t owe anything to Cleveland, the place, but don’t he have to leave a trail of mediocrity to the Cavaliers after a short run of success each time he leaves?
If Lebron leaves Cleveland for a second time, I think it really takes a ding on his legacy because of the aftereffect.
He becomes a mercenary in the NBA for teams longing for hardware. He would be the greatest “gun-for-hire” for teams who badly wants to get a championship.
Why would Lebron not commit for a long-term commitment, especially he is now nearing retirement? When he retires, what kind of team does he want to be associated with? The Cavs? The Heat? Another team? Or no team at all?
I think the greatest players are acknowledged on how they made their franchises prosper during their term. They often leave an indelible mark that is and will be carried by the generations of players in the organization after them.
I also think the fans will learn to forget their favorite player but will always reserve a place in their hearts for their favorite team.
When one say Jordan, he also think of the greatness of the Bulls organization as a whole when he was there and its effect on incoming players.
Same is true with Kobe Bryant or Magic Johnson and the Lakers. Or Larry Bird and the Celtics.
How exactly did Lebron help the Cavaliers flourish the first time he was there? He left before he could win a title. He left hastily due to what appears to be the inability of Cleveland to overcome the Boston Big Three and tag along Chris Bosh to combine with Dwayne Wade’s Heat in order to topple the Celtics.
Not to mention using a drama filled TV announcement that left a lot of his fandom hurt resulting to burning of his jerseys.
While it’s still arguable to hold this transferring against him even if he really doesn’t want to be with the Cavs for personal reasons, it would have been totally understandable if he wants to play somewhere else besides the team that drafted him.
But having then chosen where he wants to go and who he going to play with, I find it very unusual for him to leave the Heat after just four years when he promised them not one, not two, …;, not seven championships!
Among the guesses on why he left was the progressing inability of Dwayne Wade to help him win championships due to his advancing age.
Likewise, his split with Miami was not as bad as that of Cleveland but wasn’t also exactly pretty, either.
Using this argument, if true, puts him on the easy way out to get a ring: join and become the final piece of an already existing potential title contending team.
Then he goes back to the Cavs as a personal choice despite knowing what’s in store there as he’s personally tasted it the last time around.
He’s got to see what a potential perennial contender Kyrie Irving was and him and a forced third member of the tag team, Kevin Love, made the them another title contender!
Now that Irving’s gone and the Cavs doesn’t have a chance to retool the team given the short window of time given them, he wouldn’t commit to an extension.
Thus, the rumors of his possible departure are again spreading like wildfires as conditions in Cleveland when conditions are on a downward spiral.
This series of transfer decisions is really turning to be either a case of title-chasing or personal brand protection.
Either way, Lebron seemingly wants to be a perennial title contender but doesn’t want to undertake the process of building the winning team around him for the long haul.
And I think him hopping to an already existing team instead of waiting for the pieces to be built around him diminishes the shine of the championships he earns.
Here are perfect examples why championships earned where a player is the person whom the team builds up the line-up are generally more special than one earned when a player transfers or is traded and gets to join an already intact line-up:
Which is more special, the five won by Robert Horry with the Lakers and the Spurs, or Scottie Pippen’s first three all with the Bulls.
Ray Allen’s two with Boston and Miami, or Isiah Thomas’ two with the Pistons.
Clyde Drexler’s one with Houston or Paul Pierce’s one with Boston?
There’s something more special to the ones earned when the player upon which the line-up is built is originally included in the blueprint.
The Lebron case in his second tenure in Cleveland was supposed to be clearer.
He is going to join a team with an upcoming star in Irving, as well as an orchestrated trade for Kevin Love at his behest.
Then Lebron further shapes the roster landscape.
He seems to had a hand in the firing of David Blatt and subsequent hiring of Tyrone Lue.
He seems to have a hand in the giving of large contracts to JR Smith and Tristan Thompson, his preferred buddies.
He publicly asked the trade for help that turned out to be shooter, Kyle Korver.
He drove away the supposed Cavs original franchise cornerstone before he decided to become the prodigal son.
Lately, around half of the team was gutted at the trade deadline including the release of Wade and Derrick Rose.
These were supposed to be made to please Lebron, more than to make improvements on the team.
More so, Lebron is fully aware of his feud with Cavs owner Dan Gilbert when he came back.
If after all of these is said and done and he still leaves, it is becoming more and obvious to me that he is what many “Lebron Haters” perceives him to be: more of a title-chaser than a championship-winner.
More of a hired assassin than a franchise foundation stone; someone that a team adds to complete a line-up rather than someone a team builds around to win the crown.
I still wonder what his future legacy be if he allowed the Cleveland management to build the team around him, give him the right personnel for his skill set.
I still think he would be regarded as closer to Jordan than he is now in terms of being the greatest player of all-time had he stayed in Cleveland and achieve all those eight consecutive finals appearances and three championships with them.
Part of the premise, however, is he should not have failed to cultivate relationships and built long-term commitments with his team while the Cavs should have done their part to provide him with the roster that mirror what he had during the Wade and Bosh times in Miami.
By: ARMANDO M. BOLISLIS