The rumors have been rumbling since the beginning of this season. “Insiders” are hearing that LeBron James will opt out of his contract following the 2013-14 season, and would consider a return to Cleveland.
Because the Cavs now have another “superstar” in Kyrie Irving, a move back to northeastern Ohio would be appealing to James.
Let’s just say if it happens, then it will be time to get excited about it. Until then, remember LBJ has a player who stabbed this franchise and this city right in the heart.
Therefore, there should be no big celebration when the Miami Heat come to Quicken Loans Arena to play the Cavaliers in March. James should be treated as the reason basketball fans have suffered through three terrible seasons in a row.
If Cavs’ owner Dan Gilbert wants him back and the two parties make amends, then fine. When he wears the wine and gold jersey again, then he deserves our support.
The whole “back to Cleveland” scenario sounds like a ploy by James’ people to garner support for him, therefore not getting a chorus of boos when he plays at “The Q” as a visiting player.
Also, James’ marketing people are from around here and supposedly aren’t happy that they don’t have the run of the house in Miami that they did when LeBron was here. And for the most part, they are the ones floating the idea of coming back to the north coast.
From a basketball standpoint, think about this scenario: The Heat go one to win another title this season and then complete a “three peat” by winning again next season. Do you really think James is leaving a squad that has won three consecutive championships?
Of course he isn’t.
Don’t like that one? Here’s another: Kobe Bryant retires after the 2013-14 campaign and the Lakers are looking for another superstar to solidify their status as one of the sports’ preeminent franchises. Does James succumb to the Laker mystique and signs with Los Angeles? It would be very tempting.
The Cavaliers have to be in a position to contend for a title for James to even consider coming back. And right now, it will be tough for the wine and gold to win 25 games this season, meaning a leap to the .500 mark next season will mean an additional 15 victories. Yes, there will be plenty of players hitting their second and third years in the NBA, but that is a rather large jump in the victory column in one year.
GM Chris Grant should continue to build the Cavs like he has, accumulating draft picks and keeping plenty of cap room so his team can be a player if an all-star type player comes available because his current team needs payroll relief.
Oh, and it wouldn’t hurt to strike draft gold in this summer’s draft either. Cleveland means another difference maker on the team. Perhaps Dion Waiters can be that guy, but it looks like he’ll be a good player, not an all-star, at this point.
This isn’t to say LeBron James won’t come back to the Cavaliers after the 2014 season. He may, perhaps he does miss northern Ohio more than we think.
However, he’s the one who kicked us below the belt. To beg for him to return to the wine and gold just makes Cleveland sports fans appear totally weak.