By now you have heard, unless you live in a bubble, that LeBron James chose to play in Miami alongside Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh. He made his choice during an hour long special titled “The Decision” which prompted me to name this post “The Reaction.” The reaction has been broken down by 3 criteria: Basketball, Brand, and Legacy.
From a pure basketball side LeBron claims this was the best destination for him to win. I disagree. Chicago was the most ready to win team. While the new names make Miami the sexy pick, they are still a few moves away from a championship. The most obvious being adding a Center. Chris Bosh not only dislikes defending big men, he is incapable because of his lean frame. Who on that Miami heat roster is going to match up with Dwight Howard? Pat Riley better use that swag to bring Shaq back or convince Brad Miller to take the minimum. Until they get a serviceable center and some more role players they will just be 06 Wizards, the highest scoring trio in the league.
Another thing I heard a lot of last night were “experts” saying that this super team is good for the league. I disagree wholeheartedly. The greatest league in the world is the NFL, I am not just saying that because I am a football guy. I say that because as much as I know about football I never know who will win the Superbowl. Parity is a good thing, from a competitive AND economic standpoint. If fans believe their team has a chance every year they will support their teams every year. If you have 8 of 30 teams (NBA) being competitive and only 4 of those have a real shot at winning, what is the point of watching? We all saw how bad the NBA playoffs were this year. The vast majority of people will be turned off by knowing that one team will dominate the league.
It is no secret that LeBron is interested in building his global brand. He made it known that he wants to be a billionaire athlete. The LeBron brand took a major hit throughout this whole ordeal. His team of managers and PR people greatly under rated the fallout from this little charade. It was an excellent idea to have a primetime special but did they really think it through? They couldn’t have. LeBron looked like a complete narcissist, like he became a victim of believing his “King” mantra literally. Going on national TV to announce that not only are you dropping your hometown team but you are creating an all star team in the process, is being frowned upon by fans across the nation. What LeBron did was the equivalent of going over the loud speaker in high school and dumping the cute wholesome band girl for the gorgeous but slutty head cheerleader. LeBron was the NBA’s hero to Kobe’s villain, now I believe Kevin Durant will become the new poster boy for all that is good. He would have been better served announcing his decision in a more low key fashion. Honestly the people of Cleveland will get over it and if they don’t it’s just one city. But to go on national TV and announce that you, The King, are going to Miami to play Robin for Dwayne Wade was also a bad PR look. His brand has now been attached to Wade and Bosh. Before he was the guy, now he is amongst the guys. Even if they win the championship every year he is there he will always have to split the spoils of victory in thirds. But on the other hand championships help people develop amnesia so maybe 4 years from now his brand will be back on the billionaire track.
The thing that I believe took the biggest hit is his legacy. If LeBron goes to Miami and wins 4 of the next 5 NBA championships they will always have some tarnish on them. People will always say he had to become a part of Dwayne Wade’s team, similar to how they said Kobe couldn’t win without Shaq. Jeff Van Gundy also said something very interesting last night, he said “winning championships is important but the matter in how you win them is just as important.” Meaning people would have respected him a lot more if he took a team to the Finals on a road traveled through a Big 3 in Boston, through a Wade/Bosh Heat, Dwight Howard’s Magic, etc. Now people will only be shocked if they if they don’t win the championship 4 out of 5 years. Sports journalist are the creators of an athlete’s legacy and they too develop amnesia when said athlete starts flashing his rings, no matter how he got them.
Who looks like Robin to you?