So, here we are again.It was four years ago this summer LeBron James announced on live TV in front of the watching world that he would be leaving his native Cleveland in favour of the exotic beaches of Miami. That one statement labelled “the decision” rocked the basketball world and sent the Cleveland Cavaliers into a head first spin.

What followed was a very unpleasant bitter feud between a long suffering sports city, Basketball team and it’s one time favourite son. Cavs owner Dan Gilbert issued an open letter to fans in the immediate aftermath, in which he labelled Lebron “a Narcissist” and slammed the superstar for “a shocking act of disloyalty”. Lebron responded with a newspaper ad to thank the fans of Akron where he grew up for their continued support.

On the court, Lebron went a way to solidifying his legacy and justifying his decision by winning 2 titles in his time at South Beach. Cleveland however, were less successful and have spent much of the last 4 years losing matches. On the flip side though they have had their fair share of success in the draft lottery. In 2011 they selected Tristan Thompson at 4 and current franchise face Kyrie Irving at 1. In 2012 it was Dion Waiters at 4 before last years surprise first overall pick of Anthony Bennett. Of course they hold this years number 1 pick also with Andrew Wiggins or Jabari Parker set to become a Cleveland Cavalier by the end of the week. But what then of Lebron’s revelation yesterday to opt out of his contract at Miami?

There have been speculative rumblings for over a year that Lebron my return to his native Ohio to complete what he see’s as unfinished business at the Cavs. But being midway though what looked like a dynasty at Miami it was little more than speculation? But what now? Well let’s not jump the gun. Lebron had a 2 year player option on his contract at Miami that he has opted out of. this doesn’t necessarily mean he will leave. It merely gives him the opportunity to explore the option out there on the free agent market.

There is of course the chance that this could be a message to Heat president Pat Riley, who will now be charged to add tools to a heat squad that in no longer able to rely on Dwayne Wade. James will seek some solid assurances from Riley about personnel plans before he even considers resigning. He has made his move now the ball is in Riley’s court.

But there is no question that Lebron’s decision to opt out now (and without the fanfare of 2010 it has to be said) has definitely put the league on high alert. Is it coincidence that this announcement comes less than a week after Carmelo Anthony made a similar declaration to Phil Jackson and the New York Knicks. The 2 are known to be close and could just be positioning themselves to team up for the first time? It certainly promises to be an interesting couple of months.

Execs across the league will now be on the clock to see if they can clear enough cap space to get Lebron on board. Both LA teams will likely be in play, as i’m sure will Cleveland. But Lebron will demand certain things from any prospective club. Has enough water gone under the bridge to see Lebron to return home? It would certainly make a great story, but I just think Cleveland are positioning themselves to contend in the not too distant future without Lebron if they select wisely in the draft. I don’t see Dan Gilbert opening up his arms and welcoming back Lebron and the subsequent circus that would ensue.

But with a championship the ultimate goal for every time, Lebron right now represents the closest surest thing to bringing that for most. It promises to be an interesting summer in the NBA….

Share and Enjoy:
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • MySpace
  • Print

You must be logged in to post a comment Login