This July marks the most hyped and anticipated free agent class in NBA history. Although many great players will be available, such as Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh, Amare Stoudemire, Joe Johnson, and potentially Kobe and Yao Ming (Actually scratch Yao’s name off the list. Not because he can’t be a free agent, but because he sucks and is injury prone and moves like a gimp) the most coveted prize of all is Lebron James.
Rumors have been swirling for years that come July 2010, Lebron will leave his hometown team, the Cleveland Cavaliers, for the New York Knicks. Not because the Knicks are a better team, not because the Cavs haven’t treated him well, but more because, as the consensus goes, it’s New York City. For a rich, famous, somewhat good looking twentysomething professional athlete, choosing between life in New York or Cleveland is equivalent to choosing between <insert lame cliche of hot girl and ugly girl>
Okay, so the supposed super exciting NYC lifestyle is probably a bit exaggerated because of the glamorization of the city on basically every medium (I read a piece the other day from NYTimes about how Sex and the City made every twentysomething chick wish they lived in NYC), maybe the “city life” of NYC is overrated. Still, there’s the business aspect–Lebron doesn’t just want to be a great basketball player, he wants to be an entrepreneur. He wants to be, in hi own words, a “global icon”. To quote his idol Hova, he don’t want to be a businessman, he wasn’t to be a business, man.
Global icons generally reside in the biggest cities. Cleveland isn’t one. Chalk another one up for the Empire State.
This has been a hot topic for at least five years running. Every basketball fan refer to this summer as “The Summer of Bron”. The Knicks basically gave up the last two years–by giving away talent and shredding payroll–for that shot at Lebron this summer. And the fans in NYC have accepted this. They’ve willingly ambraced mediocrity for two years because of hopes that they will land Lebron this July. For Cleveland, a city which has suffered from endless heartbreaks, losing Lebron, a once a generation phenom, could very well be the final nail in the coffin.
But you see, an interesting wrinkle happened the last year or two–the Cavs frontoffice, which had previously been hilariously inept, suddently got their shit together and collected a solid group of players around Lebron. Now, with Cleveland looking like a powerhouse that can contend for the next few years and the Knicks still horrible, some are believing that Lebron could very well stay in Cleveland.
So now, if Lebron makes the jump, he’ll be leaving a good team with a chance to win titles to a team that’s still rebuilding. And in the end, no matter how much money an athlete makes, they still want to win. They still have their pride. (check this video for example…this aint acting here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mKkMJCbicrU)
Here we are, April 1st, 2010…three months away from that day and no one knows what’s going to happen. NYC obviously appeals to Lebron, but will he leave a good team willingly–breaking the hearts of his hometown in the process–just to go to the big city?
But it’s not just any big city. It’s New York City.The Mecca of Basketball.
And the other place is…freaking Cleveland.
I’m sorry, but I don’t see Bron staying.