Lebron James has announced that he will be heading to Miami and out of the blustery north of Cleveland to join Chris Bosh and Dwayne Wade on the Heat roster.
Forming one of the best trios in NBA history, James will bring his talents but not necessarily a guaranteed championship. “I’m taking my talents to Southbeach” were the chosen words as Lebron made his announcement official in a tiresome waste of 30 minutes on ESPN’s “The Decision“.
Still, Miami is and always has been a hotbed for celebrities and his mega-contract that has yet to be announced will come with ZERO state income tax. While Cleveland fans are likely in tears at this moment, it’s safe to say that Southbeach is the opposite…unless of course your a Cleveland fan on vacation in Miami.
I wonder, what would James had done if Chris Bosh had signed with say, the L.A. Clippers?
For my personal opinion on this move, continue reading.
Lebron James will go down in history as one of the best NBA ballers to play the game. He may even go down in history with four rings attached to his hand. Who knows, maybe more. His talent is unquestionable, his sportsmanship is all class. Yet to me, Lebron James will be remembered as great, but not legendary.
I’m do not call myself a basketball fan. I like the Heat, I like the Cavs, and I like the Magic. It ends there and while I don’t fanatically watch the games, I won’t always turn it off if one of those 3 are playing. So perhaps my opinion on this is somewhat limited. On the other hand, not being a huge fan of the game also lends some credence to what I think about this move.
I think he made a mistake.
Lebron had an opportunity to do something that very very few athletes every get a chance to do. Start and finish a career with one team. Win or lose with one team. Sure Dan Marino did it…and despite the fact he didn’t win a championship, he is a legend.
When I think of Larry Bird, I couldn’t tell you how many NBA titles he won. I can tell you that he was the face of the Boston Celtics for what seemed like forever. When I think of Michael Jordan I don’t think of titles, I think of the Bulls. Yes, I know MJ played with the Wizards but his fame and his legacy was already renown before his hiccup.
Magic Johnson, always a Laker. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar…no the real one…always a Laker (yes, he started with the Bucks). Athletes rarely have an opportunity to stay with one team. The business side of sports often sends a star packing in a trade or they fail to offer a contract that is worth a tabled deal from somewhere else. That is not the case here.
We won’t know what money figures were thrown at Lebron from Cleveland. We know that it was probably pretty close to that of the Heats. What we do know is that history will show Lebron James a great NBA player, a likely multi-champion, but he won’t do it in Cleveland. He won’t do it with the team that drafted him. He won’t do it in his home town. He will do it with a cast that has been bought. Dwayne Wade stayed home, Lebron James did not.
He will now be a piece of a puzzle instead of the straight edge that holds it together. He will no longer be “THE” man, but one of the men. In Cleveland he was worshiped regardless of whether he won or he lost. In Miami, he will be loathed if he doesn’t produce rings. They will not blame Wade any more than they will blame Bosh. They will blame James.
Lebron James will likely never reach the status of “Legend”. Why? Because legends stand out for more than simple championships. They stand out far more than how many rings are on their hand. They stand out because they do things that no one else or very few others do or have done.
Lebron James was going to get paid no matter where he went and it’s hard to fault a guy for teaming with two others to chase that elusive goal of winning a title. But 20 years from now, he will simply be remembered as a great ball player who played on how many teams? He won’t finish his career in Miami.
Shaquille O’neal was a very good basketball player who ruined his image by selling his services to the highest bidder, will James follow suit somewhere down the line? Who knows. For now, it’s simply next year.
Personally, I don’t care that James left Cleveland, I don’t care that he chose Miami over somewhere else. I would have liked to have seen him stay in Cleveland. The town that bore him, raised him, cultivated him, and made him their son. Stayed in Cleveland and tried to win it the old fashion way, by earning it. Lebron James could have become a legend, that rare individual in today’s sports who stays at home. Instead, he will just have to settle for a lot of money and greatness.
Lebron James could have been the face of a franchise for decades to come, he chose to not to be.