I was sitting in the doctors office when I heard the news. I had to receive some allergy shots and relax for the rest of the day. It had been over a month waiting for Lebron to make his "Decision" and honestly, and selfishly, I was getting tired of waiting. As I sat there, looking at a bogus magazine of Hollywood celebrities, I was debating where Lebron would go, why he would go some where, and if people would despise him with exemplified hatred. I thought to myself, "If he goes to Miami, he's going for rings, and people will never forgive him. He will go down as one of the most hated and easiest to poke fun at athletes in history." However, on the other hand, I knew going to Cleveland would just be the opposite. "If Lebron were to go to Cleveland, he would go because it's his home, he's accepted the apologies of Dan Gilbert, and wants to help build Kyrie, Wiggins, and the city of Cleveland." He would be more famous than the Beatles, and according to John Lennon, "More popular than Jesus."
As the nurse walked through the open door, I felt a small buzz in my right pants pocket. I looked down, and the words were simply stated from a good friend of mine, "What did I tell you, Lebron's going to Cleveland." I was shocked, felt adrenaline and excitement flowing through my body. The nurse told me to sit still and gave the allergy shots for the second week of July. The shots were exemplified in pain as adrenaline only makes the pain worse, but I didn't care. Lebron was coming back to Cleveland.
I jumped off the table, thanked the nurse and ran off to the car. As I drove home, I listened to the hometown, ESPN Cleveland radio exclaiming, "HE CHOSE US!"
The words echoed through my mind, as I knew he would be on cloud nine for the next 72 hours. Not only was he giving up an almost certainty of a 5th straight NBA Finals appearance, but he chose a gorgeous and great city of Miami for Cleveland who has been struggling since Lebron left in 2010.
Lebron in his letter stated, "My relationship with Northeast Ohio is bigger than basketball." Lebron was choosing his loyalty to Ohio to bring happiness to his home city over happiness to himself and his legacy. In Miami, they had proven themselves worthy of another Finals appearance, and with Pat Riley at the head of the organization, they were undoubtedly reaching the ECF and most likely the Finals. With Danny Granger, Josh McRoberts, new fire in Shabazz Napier, and only being in July, the Heat were ready to make another run.
In Cleveland, Lebron is going to a team that Colin Cowherd quotes saying, "A team in diapers." Kyrie and Dion Waiters have never been to the playoffs, or even in a playoff race for that matter, Luol Deng and Andrew Bynum are gone, Wiggins is a rookie, Anthony Bennett is still a young sophomore, and the only player who has ever played with Lebron is Varejao. The Cavs were the 9th youngest team last year, and haven't gained any other veterans but Lebron.
The Cavaliers will have to face the likes of the Chicago Bulls, Indiana Pacers, Toronto Raptors, and his old team, the Miami Heat. Thank goodness they are not in the west, or they would have no chance of being a high seed next season.
Chicago has added better scorers in Doug McDermott, and Pau Gasol. If Derrick Rose is healthy, or good enough to play, the Bulls will have a good offense. On defense nothing changes with Noah heading as the reigning Defensive Player of the Year, Jimmy Butler reaching the 2nd All-NBA Defensive Team last year, and the best coach in the NBA, Tom Thibodeau. The Cavaliers have a small chance of defeating the Bulls in the regular season or playoffs.
The Indiana Pacers put forward a great line up of George Hill, most likely Lance Stephenson, Paul George, David West, and possibly Roy Hibbert. Another great defensive team that has a ton of time and talent to fix their offense for next year.
A young team up in Canada, the Toronto Raptors, has a great back court of Kyle Lowry and Demar Derozan. Both young players can compete and out play with the Cavs Kyrie and Wiggins. As they continue to grow, the Cavaliers will have to watch out for the Canadian team and keep a close eye.
Finally, Lebron and Cleveland will have to challenge Miami in the East. A lot of people seem to be counting Miami out of challenging the Bulls, Pacers, and Cavs in the east, but I feel that they will surprise some people. Of course, Miami has aging super stars Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade, but everyone seems to be counting Wade and Bosh as washed up and old. Bosh only missed 3 games last season and averaged 16 PPG, while one shooting 12 field goals. With Bosh taking most of the shots next season, he'll be averaging in the mid 20's in points next season. If Wade is able to be slightly more healthy and play in about 60-65 games, there will be another 19-5-5 player there (He actually did average 19 points on 14 field goals, and with more field goals, he will be averaging in the 20's). Luol Deng has been added to the roster and he averaged 16 points per game last season, and still has a motor in him. Finally, the Heat have a great coach and role players. Spoelstra will handle this team with excellence and lead them to a relatively good seed in the playoffs. Chalmers and Cole are still quality point guards, Ray Allen is still there (For now), Danny Granger is an all-around good player and veteran, and the birdman will provide some fire. With Lebron gone, they will not be one of the best teams in the NBA, but I definitely see them fighting with Toronto, Indiana, and even Cleveland for a 2,3,4,5 spot in the East (I honestly wouldn't be surprised to see Miami and Cleveland face off in the playoffs).
(NOT TO MENTION: The Western Conference is filled with 6 great teams that are greater than or equal to any of the teams in the East!)
The Cavaliers do have the greatest player in the world, and the best back court in the NBA, and therefore, will have a high seed in the East. However, the Cavs will need at least 2 years or Kevin Love to create a Championship contending team with the Western Conference. However, this move as Lebron has said, "Is bigger than basketball."
Overall, Lebron James is choosing his home town team over a sure Eastern Conference Championship team in South Beach. If Cleveland can pull a couple more strings and grab Kevin Love, then everything changes. However, until that day ever comes, Lebron James is taking loyalty over legacy and royalty.