I don't know if it is sheer fanaticism or naivety that has led everyone and Lebron himself to believe that leaving Cleveland would be his best chance to win a championship. The fact of the matter is that there isn't a single team that has more talent or the possibility to draw more talent then the one he is on. Furthermore, If I'm a GM with a team looking to win the Lebron sweepstakes, I would be saying to myself that I can do better without him and here's why:
To Start let's examine just a handful of the most talked about possibilities for Lebron's departure:
1. Chicago: Here is a team that has a great scoring pg in Rose, but not a true distributor. Let's face it, he is completely ineffective without the ball in his hands. I mean when was the last game you saw him come off a screen and catch and shoot the ball. OK, I get it, they ask him to score and there is no one saying that he couldn't develop into a good distributor down the road, but how does he do that with Lebron on the team? Case in point look at Mo Williams role on the Cavs. His main role was to defer to Lebron and wait to shoot. If you don't believe me, look at which player had more assists per game and typically brought the ball up court. So you tell me, is Rose going to be able to conform to that role and be successful? The answer is NO, because he isn't a shooter and he can't operate as well in offense without isolation sets and dribble drive capability. That being said, look who else is on that team: Hinrich (playing out of position), Deng (who isn't effective at the 4, a position he would have to play to share the floor with Lebron who will take his place at the 3), and Noah (a guy who overachieves on pure hustle and heart, but will always fall flat against superior talent). Other players like Miller and Gibson aren't really worth my time in explainint why they don't matter. So you sign Lebron to a max deal and then MAYBE convince another max deal free agent to join as well, but who? You obviously have to go big with either Bosh, Lee, or Stoudemire. I can see Joe Johnson being a great fit in the back court with Lebron and Rose, but that still leaves you with a huge whole in the frontcourt and at the position the Bulls are in the draft, there is no one that is going to come in and fill that role. This being the case your possible starting 5 would look something like PG: Rose, SG: Hinrich/Draft Pick. SF: Lebron, PF: Free Agent/Deng/Draft Pick, C: Noah/Draft Pick. Now you tell me does that look like a team that is going to compete with LA, Boston, or the Magic next year? I say no because first of all everything that possible starting 5 is predicated on the chance that Chicago is able to A. get Lebron and B. convince a Max Free Agent to become a role player. More importantly you have to convince the rest of your team that this is now the Lebron show, and that means give him the ball and let him do whatever and wait till he gives you the ball and the ok to shoot. Thats not a team. Thats a group of guys standing around and waiting their turn for Lebron to share the ball. AND as we all know, Teams win Championships, not Lebron plus 4 guys. Ask Kobe, Ask Jordan, Ask the Celts.
2. New York: I understand the appeal, the market, the history, but not the talent to win championships. I mean NY has done a great job at scrapping all of their dead weight in order to sign some pretty good free agents, but not enough to convince me that Lebron can win a Championship there next year. First off their biggest need isn't Lebron, it's resigning David Lee and convincing some PG of worth to join the team. Then you have some pieces to get Lebron interested, but he'll want Bosh or Stoudemire to come too, and they'll want max deals. So your starting 5 is PG: Duhon/Free Agent SG: ??? Walker/Mcgrady/Free Agent SF: Lebron PF: Free Agent C: David Lee/Free agents and an absolutely empty bench. That seems like too many ifs ands or buts to consider them a contender for next year. You're basically talking about creating a starting 5 out all new players minus Lee if you resign him. Yeah that team is really going to gel and have the chemistry to win a Championship next year.......
3. NJ/Bronx: Lebron in Newark for 2 years is like Jack Shepard off of the Island in Lost for 2 seasons. i.e. LAME. Yeah the Barclays Center will be amazing when it is done, but it won't have talent to fill the court. Brook Lopez is a great center, and I like Yi Jianlin, but Devin Harris is overrated and you there is no one else on that team worth mentioning. # 3 pick in the draft gives you D. Favors or Cousins or W. Johnson or Whoever else. None of which are going to come in and turn the team around with Lebron to win a Championship next year. Russian Guy Owner knows it too. Thats why he said in the next 5 years and not the next year.
Suffice to say Lebron's best hope to win a Championship next year is to stay in Cleveland, drop Shaq, trade Jamison, and Sign Bosh or Stoudemire, and/ or Joe Johnson. I say get a big and with your left over money go after someone who can create their own shot.
And on the Flipside if I'm a GM and I would be saying I dont want Lebron because first of all only one team is going to win that sweepstake and if its not me then what now? The sad thing is that this is a WIN now league, so no one is looking big picture. I want a GM to stand up and say I'm going after everyone but Lebron. I'm going after Johnson and Bosh and Dirk and Stoudemire and Lee and whoever is else I can mesh with young talent and build for a championship not next year but in the next several seasons. I don't want a one man show, I want a team. A team with a Coach that has a system. A team that can play together. A team that will beat whoever gets Lebron, because while one man can make a difference, he can't win championships......
Well your name says it all so I think you are a little bias on this topic. There is not a GM in the NBA that would say they do not want LeBron James on their team. Not just that fact that he will bring in millions of dollars each year, he is also the MVP of the league. He has been a one man show because he HAS to be. He has not had much talent beside him in his career. If he was put on a team with another top FA, he would become a different player because he would know he doesn't have to do everything. You say he can't win championships because he hasn't yet but remember, it took Jordan 7 years before he won his first. I assume you will come back with a Kobe remark and how he already had a few championships at LeBrons age. Don't forget that he had Shaq in his prime. Kobe couldn't win without a good big man. He lost in the first round before they got Gasol, then they made it to the finals the next year. I don't think that is a coincidence.
I totally agree with you about there not being a GM that would turn down Lebron. Thats my point precisely. I wish there was a GM that would say I don't want a One Man Show, I want a team. Yeah he can bring you millions in marketing but lets face it, most teams do not turn a profit in this league and especially in this economic climate. So if the point is just to make money, then there is only a hand full of teams that could afford Lebron and put his commercial appeal to good use and possibly turn a profit anyways. That's beside the point though because were not talking about money, were talking about championships and more specifically a championship in the next year. Lebron says that's what is most important to him, but how does leaving Cleveland give him a better opportunity to win in the near future?
You say Lebron can play with others and I say he can't. Look at the way he controls a game and the way he is coached. The man is essentially given full reign over the court and the team. The game plan is simple, give Lebron the ball and everyone else stand around till he gets you involved. Yeah you can pair him with another all-star, but does that mean Lebron is going to give up his numbers? I don't think so. If he wants to win Championships, he is going to have to relegate himself to a role rather then Mr. Everything Every Night. You know the biggest difference between him and Kobe and Jordan isn't that they just had a big man, but that Jordan and Kobe played in a system (the triangle offense) and played for a brilliant COACH. You know that coach that has more titles then any other coach, Phil Jackson.That's not the case with Lebron, and that's why Cleveland fired Mike Brown. Lebron doesn't want to be coached and he doesn't want a team ran by another person. That's what so ridiculous about this off season. He basically has the entire league at his whim. His destination is his choice, his teammates his choice, and his coach his choice. Why is it ok for one guy to have so much say and not have done enough to warrant it? Yeah he is a perennial all-star and MVP, but if this years playoff has shown us anything, it is that MVPs don't win championships, TEAMS Do, and Champions are who we remember not MVPS. Now I'm not saying that Lebron is never going to win a Championship but something has got to give on his end.
Your point in arguing that Lebron can win if he had talent around him is partially true. You always need the talent. I get that. What I was saying earlier is that leaving Cleveland doesn't help him on that end. Cleveland already has the pieces to have back to back 60 plus win seasons. What other team who has a chance to land Lebron has that type of talent? More importantly adding another free agent onto his team isn't going to be enough to push the Cavs over the top next season or should I say next playoffs. Cleveland as it is now with Lebron isn't built for the playoffs. Because they have Lebron, they can beat anyone on any given night, but not necessarily in a 7 game series. Something needs to change fundamentally with Cleveland or I guess any team that lands Lebron in order for him to be successful. First he needs a coach that can actually coach, and Second a system that doesn't revolve around him but includes the whole team. i.e. LA (the triangle), Orlando (pick and roll), Celts (early offense/ half court sets). You look at Cleveland and yeah they have certain sets, but how many don't revolve around Lebron. They don't run any plays to their post and their guards are basically catch and shoot guys off of Lebron's dish outs.
Sorry to be so Long Winded to say, but I think that you're arguing that Lebron, the way he is now and the teams that he could go to, can win a championship, and I'm saying that it won't happen in the next year or at least until he changes, or someone changes it for him, the way he plays. And also that he should stay in cleveland rather then leave. So I think we might be talking about separate issues.....