Here we go again. NBA free agency around the corner. It seems like yesterday that we were all glued to our televisions watching LeBron James' "Decision." He took his talents to South Beach to play along side Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh. They all signed six year contracts with a fourth year option to opt out. Well that fourth year is here. The trio actually have until June 29 to notify the Heat whether they want to opt out or roll into the fifth year of their contracts. Considering that Miami has been to the Finals every year since they've been together, winning two titles along the way; one would assume it is a no brainer. Not in today's NBA.
Today's NBA is all about pairing up with other stars. So the "Decision 2" is upon us. Given all the criticism he took the first time, I'm sure James won't be broadcasting his choice via national television anymore. Whatever method he chooses, he needs to return to Cleveland. And here are 3 reasons why:
1. Ohio is home.
He is the poster child for Ohio. He was a star in high school, which is located in Akron and was drafted by Cleveland in 2003. It is only fitting that he goes back to redeem himself for the "Decision." He says that he doesn't care what people think about him, but he still does. His approval rating would go through the roof if he returned to his old stomping grounds. And imagine if he was to bring the city of Cleveland its first major sports title since 1964? It's the perfect movie ending to a Hall of Fame career.
2. The Wild, Wild, West
There are rumors that the Houston Rockets are trying to go after LeBron. Last time I checked, they were in the West, and that's the real NBA playoffs. San Antonio manhandled the Heat because they were battle tested. They went through Dallas, Portland, and Oklahoma City in the playoffs. And lets not forget Golden State, Memphis, and the L.A. Clippers are the other playoff teams. We can also never underestimate Kobe and the Lakers. Moral of the story: the West will be difficult to come out of every year. LeBron does not want those problems. I suggest he stay in the East.
3. Cavs have a brighter future than the Heat.
Before you call me crazy, hear me out. The Heat looked like his old Cavs teams in this year's Finals. It was LeBron and everyone else. Wade no longer plays at an elite level every night. He just cannot shoulder the load like he used to. Chris Bosh had zero points in game 7 of the 2013 Finals and we didn't even know he was on the court in this year's Finals. Enough said.
But Cleveland has an all star point guard named Kyrie Erving and the number one pick this year. Again.
It's expected that they will select Joel Embiid, Jabari Parker, or Andrew Wiggins with that selection. Keep in mind that James led a much weaker Cleveland team to the Finals in 2008. Now imagine a big 3 of James, Irving, and Andrew Wiggins. Would you take that over James, Wade, and Bosh for the next 5 years? I would. The Eastern conference won't be weak forever and the Bulls, Pacers, and Wizards are still young. Each of these teams have stars in place for a minimum of 5 more years. James needs young stars around him because Wade is breaking down and Bosh is not a superstar anymore.
If LeBron James wants a chance to redeem his image and give himself a better chance at returning to the Finals for years to come, Cleveland is his best option. And keep in mind that I am not a Clevelander or a LeBron fan by any stretch of the imagination. So this article is totally objective. With that being said, as a Bulls fan, I hope he is stays on an aging, salary cap stricken Miami Heat team. Cheers!