LeBron James has had a storied career that has spanned the last 15 years. Three titles, four MVPs, countless years of success in Cleveland and Miami. This postseason, he’s cemented himself as the Greatest of All Time, playing with a bunch of scrubs and leading them to the Eastern Conference Finals. He dropped 42 points in Game 2, albeit in a loss.
This begs the question, why would LeBron leave?
Sure, the obvious answer is to cite the Cavs don’t have a great supporting cast around him. They’re falling apart against Boston and have no chance of beating Golden State if they win this series. No one would question the King’s “Greatness” in either series loss with all the blame shoved on the rest of the team and rightfully so.
If LeBron were to leave and go to Philly or Houston or wherever, what’s the point? Yeah, winning another championship is great, but at what cost? He certainly saw all the backlash Kevin Durant took when he bolted a tough situation in Oklahoma City to go to the Golden State Warriors, making them unstoppable.
He definitely remembers how Cleveland turned on him when he left in 2010.
LeBron leaves Cleveland and he faces both the forces of his beloved Cleveland fans who would build his statue with our bare hands at this point hating him again and everyone in the NBA saying he’s a sellout for running away from the Cavs to a better situation.
Even if he wins 1-2 more titles, his finals record is not going to be as good as Michael Jordan’s. But that’s not what people are even judging GOAT on at this point. LeBron has been so great for so long that it doesn’t even matter. He won in both Miami and in Cleveland and that’s all that counts.
The easy decision is to sign with the Cavs, ride off into the sunset and try to win another one for the hometown team. More importantly, to secure a legacy as the most loved and greatest player there ever was. LeBron had his growing up stage his first seven years in Cleveland, his villain stage in Miami for four years and his beloved stage these past four seasons.
Does he really want to go back to being a villain again?
I just don’t see it.
In my eyes, LeBron’s priorities are very clear. His family comes first and I’m sure he wants his boys to play ball at St. Vincent St. Mary’s High School here in town. Then comes his business which is located here in Cleveland. Followed by his legacy which is already secured if he were to retire after this season or stay in Cleveland for the rest of his career. Finally, after all of that comes winning. At this point in his career, it’s not like he hasn’t won a single title before. There is no desperation to win like there used to be. The desperation Durant felt, which caused him to bolt to the Warriors…
Many Cavs fans will expect LeBron to leave if the team falls apart to the Celtics in the Eastern Conference Finals. But a lot could go wrong if LeBron leaves. The added expectations, the pressure to beat Golden State…all of that comes back. If LeBron is up for another challenge as he’s closer to the end of his career than the beginning, that’s good for him. However, I think the easy decision is to stay at home and enjoy the game in front of the fans that love him the most.
But right now his mind should be on winning Games 3 and 4.