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Lebron - A - Palooza

Mike Klotz



As the clock approaches 11:01 tonight the anticipation for Lebron-a-palooza will heighten.  Will he don the Bulls uniform as many expect or will he go somewhere else, shifting the balance of power in the NBA.  Whatever he does myself, and all the GMs involved hope that he signs somewhere soon.  There are many teams holding out hope that they can bring in the big fish that is Lebron.  Any secondary moves are contingent upon Lebron's decision. 


The real question with Lebron is does he really want to win or does he want to be Jay-Z?


Let's breakdown some of his known options beyond staying with the Cavs.

NY Knicks


Advantages: its New York.  It's supposedly the "Mecca" of basketball.  Despite the fact the team has failed to be relevant since the early 90s nor have they won the NBA Finals since 1973.  In New York, Lebron can be the mega star that he wants to be, it's the media center of the western world.  The Knicks have started to wean out some of the poor contracts from the Isiah Thomas era and have cleared up a lot of cap space to swoon Lebron and another max contract type of guy. 


Disadvantages: Beyond the two contracts they can offer the cupboard is essentially bare.  They have a very good player in David Lee (free agent) and a pretty good center in Al Harrington (free agent).  The problem is Al Harrington is mostly a tall wing player that isn't much of a force in the paint.  Both good players but will both probably leave via free agency. The issue is that the Knicks will not have enough money to build a good enough supporting cast around Lebron and whomever else goes along for the ride with him. 


NJ Nets


Advantages: Jay-Z, is one of Lebron's best friends and is a part owner of the team.  They also have Mikhail Prokhorov, a billionaire whom just purchased the team and has a whole lot of money burning holes in the pockets of his Armani suits.  The Nets have also long been rumored to move to Brooklyn, NY, which would be a wonderful selling point for Lebron. Despite the Nets dismal performance on the court they actually have some decent talent of the team with Devin Harris and Brook Lopez. 


Disadvantages:  They are the NJ Nets.  They have been, next to the Clippers, the NBA's doormat for a real long time.  Who knows if this move to Brooklyn is ever going to happen.  Plus this owner has never ran an NBA franchise in his life.  I am not convinced that Lebron is going to want to risk playing in his prime for someone that hasn't shown any success running an NBA franchise.  One also has to consider that Rod Thorn recently stepped down as President of the Nets.  Therefore the question remains, who will be running the basketball operations of this team?


Miami Heat


Advantages: With the news from today from Dan LeBatard that the Heat have agreed to a sign and trade for Bosh, giving up Beasly, Chalmers, and Anthony could be costly for the rest of the league whom wish to sign Lebron.  Dwayne Wade is expected to sign back with the Heat soon as well.  Thus leaving 23.1 million left to sign Lebron.  Its crazy to think of three NBA superstars on one team, in their prime, at the same time.  Also due to the lack of Florida's state tax, less of their big salaries would go to pay taxes.


Disadvantages: The reason that its crazy to think of is because I highly doubt that it's going to happen.  Keep in mind that they still only play with one ball.  It is going to be hard to keep three egos satisfied with one ball there, there are only so many shots.  The reason that it worked in Boston with 3 superstars was because Allen, Garnett, and Pierce were/are not in their prime. Plus Boston got extremely lucky that two teams just gave them their best players for little to nothing. I think that it will come down to the fact that Lebron isn't going to want to be on a team that isn't his.  The Heat is Dwayne Wade's team, he won a championship there and it will always be his team if he is on it. 


Let's also not forget, if this deal actually goes through with the Raptors on the sign and trade, the Heat will have ONE player under contract - Chris Bosh.  As a Heat fan you have to be banking on the fact that Bosh, Lebron, and Wade are all willing to take less money to play together.  I am not sure that is going to happen.  Plus you still have to have other players on the court.  It always takes some competent role players to make a NBA championship team.  I am not sure that they will have the resources after signing those here. 


Chicago Bulls


Advantages: Plain and simple the Bulls have the best roster in place to be a winner immediately.  The growth of D. Rose as a player along with Joakim Noah would be a tremendous base to put around a player like Lebron.  Not to mention that the Bulls have over $30 million dollars of free cap space this year to add another big name beyond Lebron.  Taj Gibson's suprise performance in his rookie season could also be a factor as well.  The Bulls also have a winning tradition under their current owner Jerry Reinsdorf


Disadvantages: Where does Lebron's loyalties lie?  With his friends?  With his hometown?  Or does he really want to win?  If Lebron really wants to win more than anything he will sign with the Bulls.  They, by far, have the best chance, with him on the roster out of the teams with the money to be an immediate contender for the championship.  If they lie somewhere else, then he will fall into one of the teams mentioned above or stay with the Cavs. 


People who are hoping to make money on Lebron's decison (bookies) feel that its Chicago too.  The betting site BTB has the odds as Chicago at -300 with Cleveland and Miami tied for second at +200.


If I had to bet on it, I would bet that he would come over to the Bulls.  Many people feel that Lebron wants to be a superstar celebrity/mogul or Jay-Z part 2.  If that's true he needs to win a title first, his best bet is here in Chicago.  Bulls fans need to hope that Lebron wants to be a winner, not just a star. 


Jordan rings.jpg

The Jordan legacy will not play a negative factor. Lebron would not play in Jordan's shadow.



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