Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Lebron rumors lack common sense

by Jason Jones

Wow! I don't think that anyone would deny that the Cavaliers minus Lebron would be comparable to the 2007 Miami Heat. I have been, since the beginning of this nonsense, steadfast about Lebron not leaving Cleveland for the Nets, Knicks, or any other team.

Knicks-Gallinari may develope into a nice player. Eddy Curry is a joke. David Lee is not an NBA-worthy starter, but a nice piece. Marbury, Crawford, Nate, Collins and so on are a relatively unimpressive collection of guards. The Knicks are a good 5-10 years away from exhausting bad contracts and attracting quality players. THE KNICKS ARE NOT AN OPTION.

Nets-This one pains me to say...Devin Harris is a pretty decent young PG. Vince Carter is Vince Carter. Yi Jianlian, like Gallinari, could become a solid player. Nenad Krstic is good for what he is. Brook Lopez, and this may be a stretch, is probably a top 5 center in the East today. Marcus Williams is a very good backup with starting potential. CDR is a lovely fit for NJ. Bobby Simmons is no starter, but a very serviceable backup. Josh Boone is consistent. Sean Williams and Stromile Swift have not reached their potential but are still good players. That is 11 players that cannot be confused for garbage...unlike the Knicks.

The Nets are going to be good before 2010. They may not have one player who will make an All-Star team, but they are nice on paper. Question is, would you rather have one or two superstars or have a team that goes 11 deep of quality talent. We'll see how it pans out. I have a hunch that the New Jersey Nets are going to be a lower-to-middle playoff team in the East sooner than later. As much as I quiver to say it, by the time 2010 rolls around, the Nets could be a very attractive team for a number of elite players...including Lebron James. I just hope to maintain the belief that Lebron is not that guy. As for the initial question: disregarding whatever the Knicks and Nets become in the next 2 years...

1. Lebron is extremely interested in legacy. If he wants to be mentioned in the same breath with Jordan and the other best of the best, he will have to win in Cleveland. What were the Bulls before Jordan...the Cavaliers. It's all of that local hyperbole. "One of Ohio's own ascends from meager beginnings to become the state's best player of all-time and matriculates his talents to the NBA, where he leads the hometown Cavaliers to a level its fans could only dream about before his arrival" and on and on.

2. He's not stupid enough to base his future on playing for his friend. I am tired of hearing about how when the time comes, Lebron will jump ship for the opportunity to play for Jay-Z. Give me a break. Lebron and Hov can hang out as much as they want in their free time, they both have the money.

3. Compare his career(s) after he retires. If he goes to the Nets and wins a title or more, he will be on the cover of the Nets' Championship SI magazine and will be considered the best player acquisition in the team's history. If he wins a title or more in Cleveland, HE WILL BE A GAWD...officially. A Rocky-esque statue, a local holiday, part owner, potential political career or add any absurd extras you'd like. The fans want to be considered winners so bad that the people would voluntarily cloud their judgment if it meant Lebron stuck around.

4. Lebron will get his. All of the other accolades that would contribute to his legacy or career achievements can be and should be attained in Cleveland. Doesn't matter where he plays, he will win MVP's, go to All-Star games, win titles, etc. No one fills the box score like Lebron. No one contributes to the overall team than Lebron. No one impacts the league like Lebron.

5. He can make more money in NY. Bull$h!t. In Cleveland, he gets endorsements, max contracts, etc. What more would he get in NY that he can't get in Cle. Toss this around...In Cleveland, Lebron is probably second to the entire Cleveland Browns team as far as the hierarchy of the public's dispersement of their entertainment dollar. Where would he rank in NY? Ahead of Broadway? No. Ahead of Times Square? No. When you break it down, Lebron plays basketball. Even though he is an icon, he still is not even in the top 10 of the most important entertainment venues in New York. He would just be one more attraction to potentially check out while in NY. In Cleveland, especially after winning a title, HE IS THE ATTRACTION. Be a man among many men in the largest city in the country or be THE man and the most iconic and most influential person in the city and possibly in the state, while be loved and adored UNCONDITIONALLY.

Say what you want, it just doesn't make sense to go to NY. With that being said, much more illogical things have transpired against this city's sport realm.

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