Posted on: July 9, 2010 2:45 pm
Edited on: July 9, 2010 3:41 pm

LeBron (what else?)

LeBron has made his decision. He chose Miami. While in hindsight it was probably the most predictable destination, I can’t help but be surprised that it actually happened. The way he went on primetime television and ripped the hearts out of Cleveland fans everywhere was remarkable, and if I can interject with my own opinion, unnecessary.

When looking LeBron’s character, it does make sense that he would choose Miami. He gets to play with two reportedly close friends, be in a global city, and have a fighting chance of contending for the foreseeable future. LeBron has always been someone who would rather surround himself with his friends than go into an unknown situation. His “crew” is made up of old high school buddies. He has made it clear that he wants to be a global icon and more than just a basketball player. He has said in the past that he would love to become a billionaire. For this Miami makes less sense than, say a New York, but he does crawl out from under the rock that is Cleveland.

However, by choosing Miami, LeBron ensures one thing and one thing only: he will never be thought of as the greatest player of all time. Now I seriously doubted he would achieve anything close to this anyway, this was the nail in the coffin. For every title that he wins, it will be with Dwyane Wade’s team. Wade is already the established leader of the Heat, and more importantly has already brought the city a title. Every ring LeBron gets, Wade will have one more.

This brings up a question that I’m sure everyone has. “Will LeBron try and make this his team?” For that matter, should he? I think if he wants to make this work, he should accept the role of the number 2, the playmaker. This will allow him to do what he does best which is play the point-forward. If LeBron were ok with this, it would take loads of pressure off him so he could be a numbers guy rather than the leader. (I believe Wade to be the better team leader anyway)

Sadly for LeBron, I don’t think this will happen. In his interview with Wilbon he said he said he hoped to “lead the Heat to another championship”. This brings up an intriguing dilemma. In the playoffs, down 4 with 30 seconds to go. Who gets the ball? Now how about down 1 with 8 seconds to go? Who decides that it’s their time and who accepts the backseat? It is harder on players who are supposed to be “the guy” to not have their names called in crunch time than you would think (showcased by Scottie Pippen in the ’94 playoffs).

Aside from crunch time, how will these three players work together? LeBron and Wade were 1 and 2 in ball usage with Bosh coming in at 11. (per John Hollinger) I believe Bosh will be ok with less touches. He practically followed Wade and LeBron through the free agency process making sure to not get left out. I’ll assume that he will fit in well similar to how KG was ok with fewer touches in Boston. I could be proved wrong, but I don’t think that Wade and LeBron’s styles are well suited for each other. Both players dominate the ball, neither are particularly good shooters (or at least consistent), and both try to get to the foul line as much as possible. I’m not sure how either compliment each other. Also, neither are particularly good on ball defenders, as they both like to play “free safety” and jump passing lanes. The Heat now need perimeter stoppers, wing shooters, and a rim-protecting center if they want to win a title.

My last thought is about how LeBron claimed this was his best opportunity to win now, as well as the in the future. I strongly disagree with this statement. Chicago offers a much better situation where LeBron would be the clear cut leader, Rose the 2nd banana, Boozer as the inside scorer, and Noah as the “Rodman” of the group. If they got rid of Deng they could afford to sign someone like Reddick who could be their shooter, and they’d be set for the next 5 years at least. Imagine either Rose or LeBron running the pick and roll with boozer (who can finish on the roll with either hand).

I’m willing to believe that the Jordan statue scared LeBron off. The idea of him not wanting “sloppy seconds” on a city seems to be disproven seeing as he is going to Wade’s team in Miami. No, this seems like LeBron chose Miami so he could play with his Olympic team friends. To me it does not seem like a well thought out plan, it seems like a move of combined desperation for a title and immaturity to play without his friends and under Jordan’s shadow.

LeBron talked about his time in Cleveland as when he turned from an 18 year old kid to a 25 year old man. I’m sorry, but I see a 25 year old kid running around out there. From surrounding himself with his high school buddies to his immaturity during and after the Celtics series, from his self appointed nicknames to his hour long primetime “decision”, LeBron has shown that what he wants is attention, money, and the freedom to act like a teenager. Apparently he hasn’t outgrown his habit of not tipping at restaurants either. I hope for his sake he can grow up at least on the basketball court. Maybe Wade’s personality will rub off on him and not the other way around. LeBron is a phenomenal talent. It would be a shame to see it wasted.

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