Should LeBron leave Cleveland for greener pastures?
In case you have been living under a rock for the last 10 years, LeBron James has been widely known as the best basketball player on the planet during that span.
Despite his endless array of accomplishments, which includes four league MVP awards, three world championships and 14 NBA All-Star Game appearances, James finds himself in a quandary with regards to his next career move.
In each of the last four seasons, James and his team, the Cleveland Cavaliers, have reached the NBA Finals. Like clockwork, the Cavs have squared off against the same team, the Golden State Warriors, in each of those trips to the championship round. As it turned out, Golden State was able to defeat Cleveland in three of those four meetings.
In Cleveland’s most recent showdown with Golden State during Finals competition, they were dismissed by the Warriors in a four-game series sweep last month. This happened to be the most lopsided series between the two clubs in their previous four Finals encounters.
With James hitting a proverbial glass ceiling on his current team, combined with his contract status which allows him the option to leave Cleveland this summer, wide spread speculation has surrounded his future plans. He has already bolted from Cleveland in the past, so will he do it again?
If his decision comes down to purely basketball, he should leave. Having already played 11 of his 15 NBA seasons in Cleveland, I believe James has done everything humanly possible to transform a once moribund franchise into a title contender. Therefore, parting ways now would be fine by me.
Teams such as San Antonio and Houston have a plethora of veteran talent, and are ready made for James to step in and contribute. In my opinion, joining either of those clubs would give James a much better opportunity to overthrow his arch rivals in Golden State.
I feel the Philadelphia 76ers should also receive strong consideration from James as they boast a very young nucleus of talent.
However, the 33 year-old superstar may make a decision which is not directly related to chasing championships. Not only does James own a home in Los Angeles, but he also has a close personal relationship with Lakers president of basketball operations Magic Johnson. Perhaps being associated with one of the NBA’s flagship franchises is more of a priority at this stage in James’ career.
The family dynamic is also a factor which cannot be ignored in James’ decision. A husband, and father of four, James is a native of Akron, Ohio. Perhaps his family is happy living in the Buckeye State, and would not welcome a move to a different zip code.
Pundits will undoubtedly criticize James regardless of what his final decision is. If he leaves Cleveland again, fans and media personalities will likely claim that James is a weak-minded individual who couldn’t handle the responsibility of guiding his underwhelming supporting cast to another championship.
For some critics, bolting from Cleveland again would likely be held as an indictment over James’ character. However, if he stays with the Cavaliers, others may say James is content as a second place finisher.
Regardless of James’ decision, I believe he has every right to choose his own career path, and does not owe anybody an apology for it.