Thursday, July 1, 2010
LeBron Madness Begins Amid a Free-Agency Bonanza...Go to Chicago
Note: This article was updated from its original format and republished.
Today, the general public will gather collectively, speculating LeBron James next destination during his free-agency journey as a multitude of franchises implores for his availability and services. Last we heard there were speculations of James signing with the Chicago Bulls, when reportedly sources divulged that a deal was finalized.
Eventually, all of us become curious, even anticipating James to reach a deal in a high-market and valuable franchise in a common town. He downplayed questions regarding his free-agency status and focused on strictly leading the Cleveland Cavaliers to the NBA’s biggest spotlight.
It was difficult to tamper against his hometown and a franchise, of course that he deeply supported as a teenager who fostered him as a prominent superstar in the NBA, becoming a hometown savior within an environment that has suffered from grievance and miserable sporting indignities.
With the lingering LeBron-Watch, a fascinating free agent marathon this summer centering all the attention and shining the limelight over James, who is greatly targeted by the Miami Heat in a potential deal, has the potential of building a legitimate powerhouse in South Beach if he mingles with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh. It’s quite possible an intelligent deal could transpire when the clock hits midnight, especially when a business is operated aggressively and brilliantly.
The greatest star wants to shine and hoist up multiple championships in the next few year. He’s an essential fragment to the Heat’s rebuilding project in a bottomless free-agency market. Where he plays next season is mysteriously anonymous and unpredictable, but he is theorized to be lured in by architect Pat Riley, the Heat’s general manager who is very optimistic in overhauling futility that has inhibited much realization.
Whatever decision James chooses, he controls the leverage as the attractive megastar in a plentiful free-agent class. As it stands this summer, his next landing-place dictates where an abundant of megastars verbally agrees and eventually finalizes a deal. How people view James, is as a savior when the NBA is entertaining a renaissance age.
In the end, once he becomes a free-agent, all the nonsensical rumors and assumptions will downsize to a minimal. For all the publicity and hearsay, he’ll finally test the market and accept the biggest offer in the making, to silence all the hoopla swirling in the newspaper, on the front page of Internet sites and on the nearest television screen.
There’s one town, in reality, begging for King James—it’s not New York or New Jersey—but it’s Chicago. A city with a gorgeous landscape and passionate sports fanatics waiting for an authentic savior who is priceless in rescuing a perturbed location. At the moment, it’s sensible and benefits in a way, healing the bleak faces and reducing much despair in a community that has seen misfortune over the years, witnessing the biggest sporting travesties the last decade.
Since the end of Michael Jordan’s reign, the Chicago Bulls have diminished miserably, under a turbulent general manager in John Paxson, winning merely one playoff series in 12 years. Every Chicagoan knows the Cubs are an overpaid organization and reeks. Every resident knows the White Sox need to fire the psychotic imbecile Ozzie Guillen. Every local knows the Bears foolishly gambled on a futile Jay Cutler, who's throws into double-coverage raises the tension of the locals willing to sit at Solider Field in the frigid months, witnessing a losing cause.
With all the epic assumptions, he’s the blockbuster name with all teams attempting to bid in the sweepstakes, doing anything possible to improve their franchises. But this is the Bulls sole possession, seemingly a place where he’ll be surrounded with a reliable supporting cast, a blueprint for prevailing in the upcoming seasons and an immense core that he lacked in Cleveland.
After bailing out on James in the postseason, he was driven and had the toughest task, having to conduct the Cavs in a one-sided contest, without getting enough contributions from his grueling teammates. In the meantime, fans are nervously waiting back home, terrified of an emotional departure, abruptly ending the happiest stint that brought bliss to a town the local residents fell in love with for uplifting pertinence. Is he hanging up the FOR SALE SIGN? Absolutely!
He wants to win and other teams want to win. It’s a rarity that a player remains on one team for his entire career because of money and frequent transitions with all the talent exposing terrific balance and resiliency. Wherever he lands, they’ll have to be willing to compromise by given an enormous deal and assembling a solid supporting cast.
If James does leave, he wouldn’t be a traitor or turning against a town that elevated his ego, but the value will decrease and the state will lose tremendous profit. The Cavs ownership will have trouble selling out seats at Quicken Loans Arena and will have difficulty marketing merchandise and player's apparel. Considerably, he’s not selfish or an egomaniac by walking out on his town when he has done all he practically can, and doesn’t owe his hometown residents anything, but is worthy of a championship elsewhere.
These days, a downtown banner in Cleveland overlooks the horizon of the city and reads “Born Here. Raised Here. Plays Here. Stays Here.” The 10-foot story billboard still reads “We Are All Witnesses” a Nike campaign that has apparently been advertised since his grandest arrival. Momentarily, there is silence in a town that has dealt with enough uncertainty and disappointment, witnessing a video that featured Michael Bloomberg pleading heavily for LeBron to come to New York, another potential landing spot in the upcoming weeks.
If he accepts a huge salary, based on whatever team invests the huge bucks, James will likely wind up signing with the franchise that offers the riches. For all we know, as of now, he could very well join with Wade and Bosh in Miami and assemble a singular dynasty or he could establish a career in New York. Keep in mind, his legacy is endangered depending upon where he signs this summer with a franchise that finishes win less in the next few years, while playing in his prime.
Of all the possible candidates he may wear a Bulls uniform and dazzle with a relevant tandem alongside Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah, he may storm from the tunnels wearing a Miami uniform to stand as a forceful duo with Wade and he may look stylish in a Knicks uniform and rejuvenate a lackluster organization in Mike D’Antoni’s up-tempo offense, while sharing the wealth with David Lee and Danilo Gallinari.
But as a proven megastar, James is worthy of earning millions after he’s endorsed and embraced by the league, regularly unleashing Nike commercial ads whether he’s a puppet or Wise LeBron sitting at the dinner table talking with his cones. When he leaves Cleveland, James will definitely become a part of another team's framework and heighten ticket sales for elevating his legacy and mellowing as the global superstar with his unforeseen attributes and mesmerizing talent.
Sure enough, the Ohio native has emotional afterthoughts about departing from his hometown, but the league is a business and the league is his livelihood, which tells us it’s not time to ponder or feel sympathy about leaving his town and supporters behind. If he goes to the Knicks, they’ll have to negotiate and offer James with the richest deal, unless clearing salary cap space was wasteful.
But for some reason, the Knicks have expressed interest in Hawks shooting guard Joe Johnson, despite knowing that James blends in with a fast-pace offense. After all, Donnie Walsh, the Knicks president of basketball operations, intent was to aggressively bid for James in the summer of 2010. There’s an estimated $34.5 million of salary cap space. It was proposed that the Knicks would offer a max contract to James.
As a way to bribe LeBron to stay in Cleveland, the team has erected its facilities and canned Mike Brown, whose peculiar coaching method didn’t reach James’ criteria, crippled the Cavs of advancing pass the Celtics in the postseason.
And not long ago, Danny Ferry resigned as general manager after five seasons, a stunning development to many. To their advantage, of course, owner Dan Gilbert is a smart businessman who is upgrading and revamping the identity in an underachieving franchise, now persuading the King to stay at home.
As it looks, by far, it wouldn’t be a surprise seeing him contend elsewhere.