“I want to win."

  • “I want to win. If he wants to win, we’d be good together.”


    Imagine that? Wiggins, James and Irving… the future “three amigos” doing it right for Cleveland!

    Time to go home, James!

  • @drgnslayr I agree. I had posted on another thread awhile back (I think before JoJo’s foot injury actually), comparing the situations in Cleveland to Miami. Starting line-up of Irving, Waiters, LeBron, Bennett, & Embiid vs. Chamlers/unnamed free agent or rookie PG, aging Wade, LeBron, yet to be determined free agent or rookie post player, and disappearing Bosh. Obviously swapping Wiggins for JoJo isn’t a straight switch; either they have to play small with LeBron at the 4, or Waiters sits and they take a downgrade on talent plugging in a center. Still, I think that’s a younger, more talented group than he ever had his first go-around in Cleveland.

    I actually see him returning to Miami, but wouldn’t be surprised if he chose to come back to Cleveland.

  • Banned


    link text

    I think this is a very interesting topic. It just drips with sarcasm and drama. Cleveland loses the great King James. Quite rudely if you ask me. Fast forward and now Cleveland drafts the so called next Lebron.

    I wander what King James is thinking right now? Doesn’t he now have to at least consider going back to Cleveland? Chew on this for a second. What if Wiggins does something at Cleveland that Lebron never could do? Oh I don’t know win a championship. Could you imagine the disdain that would attack King James’s Imagine. Grab a seat boys this one could get interesting.

  • @DoubleDD

    Interesting point. If Cleveland wins with Wiggins and without LeBron, it would affect LeBron’s legacy big time.

  • @DoubleDD

    What people forget is LeBron is an Akron boy. It hurt James, too, to leave Cleveland. Home is home and Miami will never truly be his home.

    He should take his clunk championship rings and go home. Spend the rest of his career trying to make it happen in Ohio. Problem is, I don’t know if his wife, Savannah, would handle Ohio. Didn’t she open up a business in Miami? They are settled into a Coconut Grove mansion. Life is good, so why would he leave?

    I believe he is spiritually torn inside. He has two sons and he is concerned about his legacy. He doesn’t want to be known as the guy who gave up on home for an easier path to his goals.

  • Kyrie, Lebron, Wiggs, Love + Deng is pretty salty…

  • @drgnslayr

    I agree on LeBron. Having lived in Ohio for 4 year I am aware of the loyalty people there have for their state. I just had an acquaintance move his family back to Ohio after 30+ years in the KC area.

    LeBron’s wife is also from Akron (a weird looking town, BTW) and she is the one that has been twitting about moving back, so it would not surprise me if she is the one wanting to move back home. LeBron famously said “The first time I stepped on an NBA court I became a businessman.” so I believe he would go wherever is best for his career; however, his wife may have other ideas.

  • @JayHawkFanToo An acquaintance of mine recently moved back to Ohio as well. Here’s what he reported back to me:

    I went back to Ohio

    But my pretty countryside

    Had been paved down the middle

    By a government that had no pride

    The farms of Ohio

    Had been replaced by shopping malls

    And Muzak filled the air

    From Seneca to Cuyahoga falls

    Said, a, o, oh way to go Ohio

  • @JayHawkFanToo

    Interesting. I didn’t know LeBron’s wife was from Ohio. I thought she would be the one holding him back from returning.

    People make the place… that’s why I returned to Kansas after leaving for a few decades.

  • Banned

    @JayHawkFanToo – I’m starting to get this feeling LeBron is moving on. The question is where? Some of the stuff I’ve been reading has said that Carmelo and LeBron are really good friends and want to play together. Looking at the tea leaves here, last time I checked they are both FA.

    There are some rumors flying around that they’ll all play for the Heat. Fat chance. No way Wade picks up his option and goes FA. He would lose millions that he would never get back. I don’t see Bosh doing it either, and if they don’t then the Heat just won’t have the money to bring in an Carmelo. I’m not going to say that LeBron and Carmelo will go to Cleveland, but it is an interesting thought.

  • Banned


    I just couldn’t resist.

  • @DoubleDD I’m glad you couldn’t - while I generally hate the state of Ohio (at least Ohio State), I do love this song! Thanks!

  • I think a lot of where James ends up depends on how he views his supporting cast, and how up front with them he is. If he’s honest with himself, he doesn’t see DWade as the sidekick that can aid him along the road to championships anymore. Not saying Wade can’t ever win another championship, but not as the #2 guy. He doesn’t see Bosh as a guy who can take over games.

    But you never know. Wade is his buddy, so maybe he wants to believe so bad that he’s still got it, or at least that he can get it back, that he doesn’t accept the reality of Wade’s decline.

    Let’s say he does realize the current state of things. Just prior to the draft the “Big3” had a meeting between themselves to discuss things. How upfront was LeBron? Do we think he said “look guys, if we want to keep this thing going we have to get better. Retool. To do that we need some cap space, and both ya’ll have drastically underperformed based on the salary you’re making. My suggestion is you opt out, then re-sign for less and allow us to get some better complimentary pieces.” That’d be pretty tough to say, especially to a friend, to suggest he needs to leave millions on the table.

    My best guess is that LeBron is aware of how bad his supporting cast is, but that he didn’t come out and say it when they all met. It probably went something along the lines of “let’s see what Riles does, who he can draft & bring in, and go from there.” Riley then will do his best with the limited resources and vast number of roster spots he has to fill. It will look slightly improved; definitely younger. And while not really good enough for what LBJ thinks he needs to win, he signs another contract with an opt-out clause after one year, and we’ll go through this again next year.

  • @DoubleDD That was awesome! Thanks! Thans!

  • @DoubleDD A oh way to go DoubleDD

  • I’m of the belief that Miami is nervous about LeBron going on. It seems that LeBron made their draft selections. Everything was about appeasing LeBron in hopes he’ll stay.

    They want more guard options… but what they really need is a shot blocker.

    I think they’ve put such a head twist on Chalmers, he seems to have lost confidence with this team. Not many teams out there tailor-made for Chalmers, but he should find somewhere else to go where he’ll click better so he can build his mojo back.

  • @drgnslayr Agree about appeasing LeBron.

    In all actuality, the Heat need a lot. A shot blocker would be great, but they have to get someone productive to take the burden off of Wade. They rested him a ton this past year and he still wore down. They’ll also likely need a veteran PG (as it appears Chalmers won’t be back) to pair with Napier.

    I just saw that all 3 have opted out, along with Haslem. So they have $55 mil in cap space, and Norris Cole. That’s it. Chris Broussard and the other guy in the video discussing the opt outs said they thought they’d all take cuts from around $20 mil down to $15-16 mil and re-sign with the Heat. Say it’s $15 mil, that’s still only $10 mil left to fill out their roster! (The ESPN guys estimated it to be around $7-8 mil, based on the assumption that they’d also bring back Haslem) All these Carmelo, Kyle Lowry, Pau Gasol scenarios seem like fantasies. Unless I’m missing something (admittedly I don’t know a lot about the NBA and their cap structure, mid-level exceptions, players being “amnestied”, etc.). And people keep talking about them trading Norris Cole to clear another $2 mil plus from the cap. Who is trading for that guy? The Heat can’t even spice the trade up with draft picks or players with expiring contracts.

    Again, I may be missing something, but I just don’t see this being quite the big deal as a lot of people are making it out to be.

  • @icthawkfan316

    “…get someone productive to take the burden off of Wade.”

    Well said. Wade needs to go on vacation for the next 50 years. He should leave the game while people still respect him and not pull a “Muhammad Ali.”

    For some reason, it does make sense to me for Carmelo to end up in Miami. I think Riley wants to build kind of a recruiting reputation like Calipari has in college… except his will be that Miami is the place for desperate all stars to go to who haven’t ever won an NBA championship and are running out of time. It is a place to go where you will have to make financial sacrifices so you can be surrounded by other big players.

    Maybe that is the reputation Riley seeks. After all, Florida is the “retirement state.” So maybe the Heat becomes the “seniors assisted-living” team. If you have all star credentials and can still do some scoring come to Miami and take minimum wage pay with a bunch of other golden oldies and shoot for the stars!

    But seriously…

  • LeBron can pretty much name his price but there is no way Wade or Bosch get what they can get at Miami anywhere else. I believe the most likely scenario is that Wade and Bosch sign for less money so the Heat can get one name player (likely center) that together with start-to-be Nappier can get them back on top…or they can get Love, Gasol and Anthony and start all over again, after all, if they get rid of Cole, the have a blank slate…I can’t think of a situation like this happening before.

  • Lebron’s game won’t work with a dominant center any better than Jordan’s would have, or Bird’s would have.

    Riles created the ideal club for Lebron and now it has aged and has to be refitted.

    Dominant centers and dominant 3s rarely can optimize each other.

    To optimize both or three dominant players on the same team there are two historic heuristics.

    Heuristic A: A dominant center needs a great power forward and a good point guard and shooting glue elsewhere.

    Heuristic B: a dominant 3 needs a dominant 2, or vice versa, plus an unselfish point guard, a dominant 4 and a physical but mobile defense oriented 5.

    Step outside these heuristics and you rarely optimize all your great players on a team.

    Napier was not drafted to keep Lebron. Napier was drafted because Lebron is likely to leave and Riles thinks with Lebron gone it’s easier to find a dominant center to go with Napier, than try build another 2/3 driven team. There is only one Lebron a generation. He is freakishly rare like Jordan.

    Now, with Napier for a rainy day, Riles has to keep it from raining by signing Carmelo to keep the 2/3 axis structure that Lebron requires and use Wade off the bench.

    Most any journeyman center will do. Bosh needing replacement is the fly in the ointment: not enough cash to add Melo and a great 4. So Lebron likely leaves.

    If Lebron leaves, then Riles unloads Bosh too, spends a wad on a dominant center and picks up a late career power forward and is ready to go.

    One thing is: Chalmers fits well off the bench in all these plans, if Mario is smart and extends his career by shortening his PT and cutting his salary, now.

    Riles completely knows what he is doing.

    Lebron needs his Scottie Pippen, or it won’t work in Miami…or anywhere else.

  • @jaybate 1.0

    “If Lebron leaves, then Riles unloads Bosh too, spends a wad on a dominant center and picks up a late career power forward and is ready to go.”

    I think Riley has under-appreciated Kareem, and what he contributed to all those Laker teams.

  • Great thread. Ive been a DWade fan for a long time, but honestly, his best days on-court seem behind him. He could play a couple of years as a bench guy, like Ray Allen is currently doing…perhaps?

    Jaybate brings up that $15mil phrase: “dominant center”. Who realistically could that be? I dont follow all the NBA teams well enough to know who may even be a possibility. Playing a very team-oriented ball, like the Spurs did (& like Self likes to do at KU), seems to maximize production, keeps opponents off balance (when its efficiently performing), and masks weaknesses.

    On another note, personally I am very worried that Bill Self just saw his principles in-play in what the Spurs do…now he knows for a fact that he can take his playstyle and philosophies to the NBA. Those Spurs players respectfully listened to Popovich, and he clearly knew what he was doing.

  • @ralster

    Not as worried about Self as other GMs seeing it! They are going to make him stinking rich very soon.

  • @drgnslayr

    Not sure why you think that. Lebron is the only time Riles has veered from the dominant big man model. Riles has had Jabbar, Ewing, Mourning and Shaq. Seems like he took deep to heart what Jabbar meant.

    But I know you will have good reason.

  • @jaybate 1.0 What do you think of Zenger’s $52mil, 10yr deal that he + BernieGray offerred to Billy last season, which WildBill did indeed sign? Literally, that is $5mil/yr…and just yesterday, BSPN was talking about Jason Kidd getting $5mil/yr for whatever team he goes to. I just dont see how anyone is going to offer an ‘unproven’ pro coach more than $5mil/yr, and what amount of money is actually going to make Self bolt? I really dont think its the money, as KU is making Billy Self “stinkin rich”.

    If he goes, I think he goes for a change of professional ‘scenery’ and the new challenge. I think Self wants another National Championship, and then he may start thinking about proving something at the pro level…

  • Also, lets keep a close eye on what Brad Stevens does in Boston. He is one of the fwd thinking, avant garde type of young coaches with a keen eye on metrics and performance analysis. But notice Self does that too, and the results and conclusions of such study are deeply ingrained in his approach to basketball and how he recruits and instructs his teams.

    We know Calipari failed as an NBA coach, yet he is considered highly successful as one of the top Div.1 coaches, regardless of whatever methods he may/may not be using.

    I think Coach K could be a good NBA coach, as he has already proven he can coach NBA guys. It deserves recognition when a coach can make Kobe Bryant take a back seat to LBJ, as it was clear nobody can guard LBJ. And LBJ is a much better distributor than Kobe, and has been so since day 1, another reason Kryzyewski wanted him on the floor more.

  • @ralster

    It is a function of supply and demand and currently there a few experienced coaches (with high % winning records) available. Golden State is paying Steve Kerr $25M for 5 years and he has ZERO coaching experience…at any level.

  • Never underestimate the influence that the players’ wives have on their decision making.

    Savannah James has been making noise about moving back home to Ohio. They have a nice house near Akron where she spends every summer. It seems that she and her family would like to have the grandkids around all year rather than just the summer time.

    Meanwhile, Carmelo Anthony’s wife, Lala, is a New York girl. That was what forced the issue in the first Carmelo deal. She lived in NY and wanted him to go to either the Knicks or Nets. Rumor has it now that she is willing to leave NY, but doesn’t want to go to a small town, meaning really only the Knicks, Nets, Clippers, Lakers, Bulls, Rockets and Heat have any sort of shot at signing Carmelo, and since the Knicks, Nets and Lakers are capped out, it would take quite a bit of other dominoes to make that happen.

    At this point in their respective careers, Lebron has already made almost $130m from basketball alone. Carmelo has made about $135m. Given the way the salary structure in the NBA works, they are better off taking less money to have a stronger team than to get paid at market value.

    My gut tells me Lebron either re-signs in Miami or goes back to Cleveland, while Carmelo either stays in NY or goes to Chicago, with the Clippers as an outside possibility if they can make the salaries work.

  • @jaybate 1.0

    "Seems like he took deep to heart what Jabbar meant. "

    Until recently.


    Good point about wives calling the shots, especially on where is home. I know from personal experience! 😉

    “Given the way the salary structure in the NBA works, they are better off taking less money to have a stronger team than to get paid at market value.”

    And how much did LeBron make on all those TV ads? Probably equal to his NBA contract.

    Consumers like winners… advertisers like consumers… therefore, advertisers like winners… LeBron became a winner at Miami. Even if he wins more championships at Miami… it has become redundant, expected, and almost a cliche.

    LeBron winning at Cleveland is new and exciting! He would be rewarded with gargantuan endorsement contracts!

    It just seems that LeBron is getting bored at Miami. He needs a new challenge. Been there, done that. Winning more trophies in Miami will prove something historically, if that matters in today’s society. With most people, I think not.

    LeBron should think it Nike’s way and “Just Do It!”

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