Obviously, this is a New Jersey Nets blog, however, the NAS crew absolutely love the NBA in general. So, every week, Sebastian, Mark, Devin, and myself will answer questions regarding the L.
Sebastian is off the table this week as he heads to Blogs with Balls in the Windy City. He'll also be running a covert operation to ruin the Bulls' chances of signing LeBron... oops, did I just write that?
1) LeBron James told CNN's Larry King that the Cleveland Cavaliers have "the edge" to re-sign him. Does this make sense for LeBron or should he get away from that under-performing situation?
I have thought, dating back to two summers ago when the summer of 2010 was first becoming something for Nets fans to look forward to, that it made too much sense for LeBron to stay in Cleveland. And while being bounced in the second round is a major disappointment, Boston took care of the Magic in similar fashion - so maybe their run has more to do with their pieces coming together at the right time (along with some great defensive schemes from Doc Rivers and Tom Thibodeau) rather than the Cavs underachieving. With Mike Brown now out of the picture, LeBron could hand pick his own coach while staying in his home state. The idea that he has to come to the NY area for more marketing exposure is a myth. No one is going to care about LeBron if he's leading the Knicks to an 8 seed or helping the Nets rebuild. If he stays in Cleveland, he's all but guaranteed to be playing for a title contender, even if it hasn't worked out that way the past two springs.
As a Nets fan who is infatuated with LeBron James, I'm obviously inclined to say, YES, YES, LEAVE. It also makes me inclined to say that the "edge" he is talking about is purely financial - the Cavs can re-sign him for more money than any other team can offer due to the nature of the free agent market. As a basketball fan, though, I'm not so sure it would be good for his legacy to leave. Look at the great players in the history of the NBA. Kobe will be a lifelong Laker. Magic too. Jordan was a lifetime Bull who never played anywhere else, ever, not even four years after he retired. Russell and Bird were Celtics their entire careers. If he shows loyalty to Cleveland, it could potentially be exactly what the doctor ordered - the FA cloud looms over them no more, the focus is finally on basketball, and a championship could be soon on the horizon.
However, LeBron, Harris, Lopez, and Favors/Cousins/Turner would be an awesome combo...
Previous to the Cavs getting tossed out of the playoffs by the Celtics, I thought LeBron would bolt Cleveland unless they won the championship. However, while the Cavs didn't win the title, they lost in such a bad way and a lot earlier than expected, I quickly changed my train of thought. There was no way that LeBron would stand to leave his legacy in Cleveland after that horrible series where the team seemed to give up, LeBron was not being the attacking LeBron, and his leadership seemed to dissolve right before our eyes, both on the court and off. I thought at the very least, he would opt for the one-year in 2010-11 and become a free agent again after that season. That said, I do think he'll re-sign with the Cavs and does make sense in a lot of ways - the team should contend again next season while teams like the Knicks and Nets won't. The Bulls possibly could, but geting back to legacy, I don't think he'll want to be in the Land of Jordan. So, if he really believes what he's saying about his hometown and the fans, as well as winning a title in that mix, he should re-sign. Plus the Cavs can offer him $30 million dollars more than any other team. Money always seems to talk.
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