THEATER ON THE HARDWOOD.
Since I spend a significant amount of my time blogging about Chicago Theater, I believe it would be remiss for me not to cover the “theater” that continues as basketball courts LeBron James. I have been watching closely, listening to the rumors, seeing the ball bounce from New York, to Miami to Chicago then back to Cleveland as King James is being courted. Even Chicago ad agency, Leo Burnett has stepped in. What will it take to get LeBron to say YES to Chicago and what will it mean?
AND THEN THERE WERE TWO.
I could be wrong, but I believe the contest is down to two–Chicago and Cleveland. Let’s say, I’m right. Now let’s look at what may be going on in the mind of LeBron James.
10 TOP REASONS LEBRON SHOULD CONSIDER CHICAGO.
1. MAJOR MARKET. The first thing James has to look at is major market (Chicago) versus mid-major market (Cleveland). The United Center pulls in huge crowds and leads the NBA in attendance with a capacity of just under 22,000. The Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland is second in attendance due to hometown hero James with a capacity of 20,500. But that’s not where the comparison ends. Chicago area population (Chicago, Naperville, Michigan City) weighs in a a whooping 9,864,845 (2009 numbers), Cleveland area population (Cleveland, Akron, Elyria) is nearly 75% smaller at 2,891,988 (2009 count).
2. CHAMPIONSHIP. James says, he has a mission. His mission is to win a championship. He must ask himself, “Can I win the NBA Title with the Cavs?” or “Can I win the NBA title with the Bulls?”
3. MONEY. He will make money anywhere. Yes he can probably make more money in Chicago, but I do not believe that money is a defining factor.
4. HOME. LeBron is a hometown boy (Akron). Chicago is not such a big move. It is still the midwest–kind of a distance suburb of Akron. He could easily maintain a place in Chicago and Akron and get back and forth in a matter of a couple of hours.
5. LOVE. He feels the love in Cleveland which is near his hometown. Chicago loves its sports teams and heroes. The love is BIG and GENIUNE. LeBron will be embraced by the fans and the media and handed the key to the city.
6. FAME. A Statue in the United Center or a statue in the Quicken Loans Arena?
7. MICHAEL JORDAN. LeBron wants to be better than MJ, how can he truly know if he’s
better if he doesn’t follow in the same footsteps on the same hardwood on which Jordan performed.
8. BETTY WHITE. Betty White may be “Hot in Cleveland,” but we’ve got a lot hotter in Chicago.
9. PIZZA. LaBron James favorite food is pizza. Need I say more.
10. PRESSURE. No matter where LeBron goes he will be under pressure to win and perform, but in Cleveland he has a perceived pressure to save the city. Cleveland is second in the nation in the loss column for population and the downtown area had been struggling. Since LeBron came to town he has filled the stadium and brought people into what had been a dark downtown. Is this too much pressure to put this on the shoulders of a 25-year-old basketball player? I think so. Just let him play ball…in CHICAGO. To see Cleveland’s plea to LeBron go to: www.nba.com/cavaliers
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