In case you missed it, two-time NBA-MVP Lebron James has finished his contract with The Cleveland Cavaliers. That is the simple part of this up-coming 2009 NBA off-season. Now, here comes the hard part. The big question on everyone’s mind is, “where will he go”? If you turn on ESPN at any point in the day they’re talking about this issue.
You’ll see reports that Lebron is talking with fellow free agents, Dwayne Wade, Chris Bosh, or Joe Johnson about going to one lucky NBA team and making them an instant contender. Then you’ll see reports that Rap Superstar and Mogul Jay-Z is talking to Lebron trying to convince him to come to New York City, to play for the Knicks or the New Jersey Nets. Then you’ll see his hometown of Cleveland trying to get Lebron to stay. So the million, well in this case, billion dollar question is, “Where Will Lebron James Go”?
Lebron has said that he wants to be a ‘Global Icon’. He’s said that he wants to be the first athlete to earn an billion dollar contract. But how can he do that a salary cap in the NBA, regulating him from achieving this goal? It’s not like he plays in baseball where there is no cap, and players are free to earn as much as an owner wants to pay them. Lebron can go about achieving his billion dollar goal by getting sponsorships from different corporations. Where is the best place to obtain this, and be in the face of the global market? Of course, it’s the bright lights of New York City.
However, the problem with the New York City NBA franchise, the Knicks, is that well, they stink. They have no draft picks for the next two years, and have a history of making bad off-season moves. If Lebron is serious about winning championships, and improving himself among the greats of the game; then he will stay far away from the Knicks. Even if Lebron could convince the Knicks to sign another big free agent like: Bosh, Wade, or Johnson, the Knicks are still a terrible team with no near future.
Chicago offers an entryway to the global market. It has a great young point guard in former Rookie of the Year Derek Rose. The Bulls have a great young core of players in place with cap-space to sign or trade for other players for a Playoff run. However, I don’t know about any of you, but if you have ever flown through Chicago, well, that would keep me from signing there.
Then there is his home town. The Cavs, from a basketball perspective have a core of players already built around him. However, they don’t have the cap-room as other teams, and haven’t been able to win the NBA Title that escapes Lebron. With the expansion of technology, Cleveland isn’t the small-market that global enterprises wouldn’t know about. Leave Cleveland and Lebron rips’ the hearts out of a city that may never recover as a basketball franchise, or just as a city in general.
“Where Will Lebron James Go”? Personally, I have no clue what thoughts are going through his mind. No one does. Experts on ESPN will jump over anything that comes from him this summer assuming anything. If Lebron has a New York Yankees baseball cap on, then that means he’s coming to the Knicks in New York. If Lebron is wearing an old Michael Jordan jersey, then that means he’s coming to the Bulls in Chicago. We won’t know until teams are allowed to sign Free Agents beginning July 1st. Until then enjoy the out-side weather. Because once July 1st hits history will be made, as 30 teams will try to court The King.By T.J. McAloon