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Friday, May 14, 2010

Empire State of Mind

LeBron James will finally be saved from Cleveland, Ohio. Last night, the Cleveland Cavaliers lost to the Boston Celtics in the Eastern Conference Semi-Finals, concluding the series, 4-2. Throughout the series, Cleveland didn’t belong on the same court as Boston, as it was obvious which team was better. Going forward, despite the NBA Playoffs continuing, the basketball world will be waiting for James’ announcement:

In 47 days, LeBron James will become a New York Knick.

While James has developed into one of the best players in the world winning back-to-back MVP awards, the Cavaliers are regressing. After being swept by the San Antonio Spurs in the NBA Finals in 2007, they have yet to return to the championship, losing in the conference finals to the Orlando Magic last year and now the semi-finals this year.

Yes, Cleveland has tried their best to assemble a viable supporting cast for its superstar, but what they have now is simply not good enough. The players on this team are sloppy seconds that nobody wanted. If James wasn’t on this team, they would be bad basketball team preparing to pick in the draft lottery. Even with James on the roster, they can’t compete against teams such as the Magic, Celtics, or the entire Western Conference, where each team has two or three great players with tremendous support from their role players.

Well if this is the case, why would James go to the Knicks? The power of James will have an immediate impact on any team he chooses to play for going forward, especially in the Eastern Conference. Some say, “Why would he go to the Knicks or the Nets? They are terrible.” Well, what do you have when you take James off the Cavaliers? The current Knicks or the Nets.

The New Jersey Nets are an interesting player in this free agent sweepstakes. The Nets have recently been purchased by the a Russian billionaire who has made it very clear and public that he is willing to do whatever it takes to win. The Nets will also be relocating to Brooklyn, home of minority owner and close friend of James, Jay Z. “Hova” understands that James will make the best business decision for he and his family, but count on his friend inquiring regarding the possibility of joining forces in an effort to take over New York City and the world.

This is a special year of free-agency. The players available are established stars looking for a big pay day and a chance to unite with other free agents to accomplish the ultimate goal of becoming a champion. Will Dwayne Wade stay in Miami? Is Dirk going to make it work in Dallas? Or will the Phoenix Suns use its team option on Amare Stoudemire? Many questions loom, as the NBA landscape could be drastically different next season.

Chris Bosh will play a pivotal role in the upcoming decision making for James. Once he decides where he will play, it will have a domino effect on the rest of the free agent class. Being hidden away, playing in Toronto for the past seven years, Bosh has become one of the most underrated players in the NBA. James and Bosh have developed a strong friendship off the court while also having experience playing with one another on the USA team. If these two superstar friends/players communicate to each other that they want to build a dynasty together, watch out league.

Cleveland fans will be outraged and angered about what will be said about their city and team. Accept it, your city is comparable to a third-world country and your teams don’t belong in any of the major sports. Trust me, I’ve been to Cleveland. I immediately needed a tetanus shot following my visit.

By the way, James is from Akron, Ohio, not Cleveland. Get over it. Any kind of allegiance to Cleveland or its fans is a joke. James will do what is in the best interest of his family and future.

Regardless if James signs with the Knicks or the Nets, New York is where James belongs. The biggest star must be featured in the biggest city on the biggest stage. Not only will basketball be important in his decision making process, but the marketing/business aspect of New York is critical. Following the loss last night, he stated that he and his team (business partners and advisors) will evaluate all options and execute their game plan. James has made it known that he wants to be the first billionaire athlete. To accomplish that goal as well as win championships, Cleveland is not in that plan.

Cleveland is not good enough for James. He deserves better. The NBA and its fans deserve better. LeBron James will have his choice of bologna or filet mignon. The choice is obvious. He knows exactly what he will be doing, and that is making a home in the Mecca of Basketball in the greatest city in the world.

Congratulations New York and Spike Lee, you have just won the lottery. Welcome to New York, LeBron.

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