The summer of 2010 is all about LeBron James. Yes, other great free agents are on the market (including Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh, Joe Johnson, etc.), but the real prize is LeBron.
Cities are lining up to woo him. New York papers are putting him on the cover wearing a Knicks uniform. Chicago thinks they have the best team to help make him a winner next season. The Clippers (the other team in LA) are tempting LeBron with star power. Even Miami has the idea that Dwyane Wade can convince LeBron to relocate to South Beach.
But the right decision for LeBron James is for him to prove that he is a champion. That means, LeBron James should stay in Cleveland. He doesn’t need to go to another city. Look, Tim Duncan won in San Antonio. Before he came, San Antonio was best know for Custer’s Last Stand. Now they have 4 NBA titles. Dwyane Wade was drafted by basketball-starved Miami and he delivered a championship with a very marginal team. Surely LeBron can do the same.
Though the currently assembled roster in Cleveland has holes, and a history of under-performance in the playoffs, you could argue that LeBron is also heavily responsible for the playoff losses. He needs to improve his outside shooting and free throw percentage. Look at the great closers in the NBA. All of them shoot in the 80s at the charity stripe.
One change that will surely come this season is the head coach. Mike Brown has been flawless in the regular season, securing home field advantage throughout the playoffs this year. But he simply doesn’t have “it” when it comes to big games, particularly in the NBA Playoffs. Advice like “get us some good looks, big fella” to LeBron James is not why coaches are paid millions. His X & O skills have peaked and Cleveland cannot win a championship with him.
While the call from other cities will be deafening, it’s time for LeBron to commit to the state that raised him and has showered him with love for more than 10 years.
Stay in Cleveland LeBron. You can win there. Prove you are the second coming. We are all witnesses.