The NBA preseason will be kicking off in just over a month, and the biggest story in the NBA is still the expiring contract of LeBron James. The media is in a frenzy as they try to solve the puzzle of where the King will call home in 2010. Luckily, this blogger has already solved that puzzle. Here’s 10 reasons that helped me solve it:
10. It’s all about the Benjamins. Simply put, the Cavaliers can offer more money than any other team, and they will. The Cavaliers can offer a 6 year/ $133 Mil contract compared to $102 Mil over 5 years from any other NBA team. Bottomline, LeBron hopes of being the first billionaire athlete, money talks.
9. Free Agent Attraction. There are three things that mainly factor into a players decision when it comes to signing a contract. Money, Winning, and Talent. I don’t see money being a problem here. It’s not uncommon for players to take a pay cut in order to be on a winning team, and Cleveland is getting to be very good at just that. Not to mention the thought of playing with the best player in the NBA doesn’t become very appetizing.
8. Talent. The Cavaliers were just chosen as the favorite to win the East by ESPN. James has one of the best supporting casts being complimented by fomer All-Stars Mo Williams, Zydrunas Ilgauskas, and Shaquille O’Neal. There’s no way LeBron is going to abandon these guys to go play with Eddy Curry, Darko Milicic, and Larry Hughes.
7. We’re in a Recession. Which means only one thing, NBA teams are losing money. The salary cap is expected to decline in 2010 leaving most teams without enough money to sign both LeBron and another max free agent. Unless Miami or Chicago completely disembles their teams, the chances of LeBron signing is very unlikely.
6. 2011 offseason. Going back to reason 7, the Cavaliers might not have the money to sign another All-Star free agent in 2010. Luckily, the Cavaliers have enough talent to make it through the 2010 season without signing another max free agent. In this case the Cavaliers will look to the 2011 free agent class. With both Z’s and Shaq’s contracts expiring in 2010 the Cavaliers could have the cap space to make a run at the 2011 free agents which include Carmelo Anthony, Yao Ming, Pau Gasol, Tony Parker, Caron Butler, and David West.
5. Dan Gilbert. Dan Gilbert LOVES LeBron James, and is willing to do pretty much anything in order to make him happy, including paying the luxury tax. Meaning that every dollar the Cavaliers go over the salary cap, Dan Gilbert will have to pay that amount to the NBA.
4. Lebron’s Legacy. Every great NBA player has their own legacy, Jordan in Chicago, Magic in LA, and Larry in Boston. LeBron’s legacy could be one of the most heroic legacies in NBA history if he were to remain a Cavalier. I think everyone is aware that LeBron has made the Cavaliers what they are today, and winning a championship will be icing on the cake.
3. The Fans. The Cavaliers have some of the best fans in the league. Cavs fans cheer louder and harder than any other sports fans in the NBA. Every time LeBron throws one down or drains a shot from beyond the arc you can here “M-V-P” from every fan in Quicken Loans Arena, making for a lot of people LeBron would piss off if he were to leave.
2. Winning. You’re parents lied to you when you they told you “Winning isn’t everything”. If winning isn’t everything then why the hell do we keep score? This is something that LeBron has come to terms with quite well. James is a competitor and unless he has the chance to play alongside Kobe, he doesn’t have a better chance at winning then he does in Cleveland.
1. O-H-I-O. LeBron loves him some Ohio. If there’s one thing LeBron loves more than winning it’s Akron, OH. He’s proud to be from Akron, Hell he even has it tattooed to his arm. If his ink doesn’t show his love then certainly his contribution to the area has. Over the years LeBron has worked with Nike to refurbish school gyms, hand out backbacks to under priviledged children, and donate new uni’s to St. Vincent-St. Mary and Akron U basketball team. You can even find the city of Akron featured on the side of LeBron’s new shoe.