Stay, LeBron: An Open Letter to King James

lebron_james.jpg
Dear LeBron,

When I first read the news that you'd be opting out of your Miami Heat contract, I have to admit, I was more than a little upset. I imagine many Miamians had the same reaction, from the guy down the block with a picture of your face and the words "STANK DON'T IT?" painted on the hood of his Chevy Caprice, to the countless parents of children with names like LeBron Rodriguez or Louis LeBron Jameson.

But I've given it some thought, and you know what? I think I get it. To my understanding, the best case scenario is that you, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh all opt out, accept lower salaries, free up some contract money to bring in new talent, and win 18 more championships.

But I'm not writing this letter for the best case scenario. I'm writing because of the other case scenarios.

You joined this team in order to win championships, and to achieve that end, you were willing to be thoroughly underpaid. No, $20 million a year is not a miserly wage by most people's standards. But you are not most people. You're a unique, extraordinary specimen of human athleticism, an outlier that exists many, many standard deviations above the mean, an anomaly that has been a splendid spectacle to watch, all the more so since you've been wearing my city's colors.

But maybe this last series shook your confidence in the team you've spent these last four seasons with, and maybe that's an uncomfortably familiar feeling. As a fan watching your rematch with the San Antonio Spurs this year, it was both inspiring and difficult to witness the moments when you, once again, had to try and put the team on your back. They were inspiring because of how amazing it's been over the last four years to watch you grow into the tenacious, brilliant leader you are for this team - a role you've adopted and adapted to as if you were born for it. But they were also hard to watch, because your team -- our team -- was faltering under the figuratively (and sometimes literally) sweltering assault of the Spurs, a point that the national sporting press emphasized to no end.

I don't know how much that media emphasis has weighed on your mind. You've certainly had plenty of practice tuning out the voices of idiots like Skip Bayless (known alias: SKELETOR) and Bill Simmons. But even a superhuman with as much experience ignoring the haters as you've had must feel weary under the strain and noise of a million critics after a hard loss like you faced in these finals.

But listen: losses are not perpetual. They are the punctuation marks between the sentences of your successes, the rest notes between one verse of victory and another. Even though that silence in the stead of song can be unnerving and unpleasant, don't think for a second that it has any kind of permanence, because the Heat will sound and sound loudly again.

I don't know whether D-Wade and Chris Bosh are going to opt out or not. I don't know if Jesus Shuttlesworth is going to keep wearing a jersey next season or whether he'll be chewing bubble gum and howling from the sidelines as a coach. I don't know what your wife or your kids or your mom think you should do, and I don't know which team is going to offer you what. I don't know whether you decided to opt out in order to make some room in the team's salary cap to make the Heat all the more formidable, a difficult choice you, Wade, and Bosh will likely be talking about and making together very soon.

But there are three things I do know with absolute certainty. One is that Pat Riley is a goddamn genius, and if anyone can make this team even stronger than it has been, it's that man. Another thing I know is that you've been with this team four years, worked your way to four consecutive NBA finals, and won two championships. I'm no expert, but that seems like a pretty good record to me.


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25 comments
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Breaux Bridges
Breaux Bridges

Bandwagon fans, Writing letters for what? You can follow him to his new team just like you followed him to Miami

Kevin Clark
Kevin Clark

LBJ at JZ show last night in yep a HEAT hat... after he met with wade and bosh at SOHO beach club for the afternoon

Allen Rodriguez
Allen Rodriguez

It's gonna be fun seeing how empty the AAA will be during Heat home games after this haha.

Loretta Menth
Loretta Menth

Love ur comment Kenia well put lmbo nobody fucking cares where he goes get lost.poopy potty james lol

Loretta Menth
Loretta Menth

Oh boy gotta be one of the stupid heats fan that walked out on hin at ur house .Dumbasses to love yuck u gotta be sick o and one of the sorry fans that walked.out on ur so called team not once but twice at ur house thatd called dumb asses and LOSERS LMBO

Kenia West
Kenia West

Lol this is so dumb. Who cares. Lebron can suck a big donkeyy diick

Jorge Larrea
Jorge Larrea

Too much muela, couldn't get past the 3rd paragraph. Doesn't sound like a sports fan wrote it.

Nadinejohn
Nadinejohn

Well said.  Good article! I predict that the 3 Kings will all stay in Miami. Quality of life means a lot.  Keeping your family happy in a place they love means a lot. Playing with your best friends is worth more than money. Having a 5 year contract instead of 3 years left on an existing contract gives security. Building another winning team with a "genius" is a challenge and a lot of fun. There isn't another cty in the USA that will love LeBron like Miami does.I doubt there is another NBA team that can assure LeBron that he will BE the true leader of his team. All of these things mean a lot. Plus, the Miami Heat is worth 112% more than it was before James "brought his talents to South Beach."  Micky Arison knows a good thing when he has one and he will do whatever it takes to keep James, Wade and Bosh in Miami...including getting them another excellent guard and an outstanding 3 point shooter.

William James
William James

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Jerry Gonzalez
Jerry Gonzalez

Never mind all the Heat fans in the arena BOOing you during game four and leaving with five minutes left to play in the 4th quarter.

James Kendall
James Kendall

Dear LeBronda Flames, don't let the door hit you on your, diving, flopping, egomaniacal ass! lol

Will Iam
Will Iam

Who cares. Everyone stop sucking his balls already. He did poorly in the playoffs. The team will go on.

Alex Anico
Alex Anico

And Cynthia if he was all about "the benjamins" he wouldve stayed in Cleveland to begin with. seriously dont speak.

Alex Anico
Alex Anico

Seriously dont be Cleveland...and open letter to him is kind of pathetic. We dont own or control him.

DRAKEMALLARD.0
DRAKEMALLARD.0 topcommenter

James took a pay cut to play in Miami

LeBron James has been at the center of free agent drama before. He was drafted by the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2003 and played with them through the 2009-2010 season. At the end of the season, he departed in free agency to join Dwyane Wade on the Miami Heat. Wade and James were also joined by Chris Bosh, formerly of the Toronto Raptors. All three players were drafted in 2003 and had been perennial All-Stars for years. They were also close friends.

Given the salary cap rules, it was not possible for the Heat to pay all three players the individual maximum salary. But they all decided that they wanted to play together and maximize their odds at winning championships, so they all agreed to accept small discounts to play in Miami. The sting of reduced salary was salved by Miami's high quality of life and the fact that Florida has no state income tax.

The terms of the arrangement were that Wade, James, and Bosh would all accept essentially the same salary (James and Bosh are paid the exact same amount, Wade is paid very slightly less) even though everyone agreed that James was the superior player.

 http://sportige.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/Still-a-3-peat-e1402925328247.jpg

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