Sunday, June 22, 2014

LeBron's Decision Is Wrong (Whatever It Is)

Here is the one thing we know for certain about LeBron James' next move: it will be savaged.

  • If he elects to stay in Miami and gun for another championship, he'll be pilloried for staying with a past-its-prime core and taking the easy way out.
  • If he elects to opt out, stay in Miami for less money in order to facilitate the acquisition of more talent so that he can take another run or three at a championship, he's buying his rings and how dare the players manipulate the system to have a better chance to win.
  • If he opts out of his contract, as is his right (see, it's right there in the contract) and goes to LA, then he's just a publicity hound.
  • If he opts out and goes back to Cleveland, well, it will never be enough to assuage the wounds caused by his leaving in the first place, never mind that Cleveland (the team, not the city) had demonstrated itself incapable of building a team around James that was not relying waaaaay too heavily on guys like Boobie Gibson. (Hint: If Boobie Gibson is one of your key pieces, you're putting together the wrong puzzle.)
  • If he opts out and goes to Chicago, he's taking the easy way out by settling in to a bunch of ready-made talent...kind of like what Shaq and Karl Malone and Steve Nash and all those guys did over the years with the Lakers to chase titles.
  • If he opts out and goes to New York, he's just chasing endorsement dollars.
  • If he opts out, retires, and finds a cure for cancer, he's abandoning his legacy as a basketball player, so we'll never be able to really match him up accurately against MJ.

All of which is a really long-winded way of saying that none of this is about LeBron at this point. His decision, whatever it may be, is no longer a basketball issue. It's content. Which means, by definition, it can't be the right decision, no matter what it is, because that would be depriving the mill of its grist, and because the needle spikes in a certain way when you say "LeBron done a bad thing", whatever he does will be a bad thing.

And that's why I'm rooting for LeBron to opt out and take his talents to Mordor. Because if the guy's going to get killed, no matter what he does, he might as well do something worth getting killed over.

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