LeBron James Would Have to Be Crazy to Leave Miami for Cleveland -- Updated
Uncle Luke, the man whose booty-shaking madness made the U.S. Supreme Court stand up for free speech, gets as nasty as he wants to be for Miami New Times. This week, Luke dives into LeBron-mania.
Update: LeBron James has made the dumbest decision of his life. He is heading to Cleveland.
LeBron James is not stupid. But leaving the Miami Heat would be the King's dumbest decision if he actually opts to move back to Cleveland. He'd be giving up living in paradise, residing in a state with no income tax, and playing for the most stable, most competitive organization next to the San Antonio Spurs. By going back to Cleveland, LeBron would essentially be bowing down to Dan Gilbert, the Cavaliers' owner who doesn't value James as the league's greatest player, other than using him to increase the value of the Cavaliers and sell out Quicken Loans Arena.
See also: All of the Luke's Gospel columns
In fact, Gilbert is the worst NBA owner next to Donald Sterling. When LeBron left via free agency four years ago, Gilbert acted like a plantation owner angry that his top slave had been freed. Now Gilbert wants to pretend he never dissed LeBron. The Cavaliers removed from their website the letter Gilbert wrote ripping LeBron's character and integrity.
The Cavaliers have also been dumping players to offer James a maximum contract.
LeBron should note Carmelo Anthony is leaning toward staying in New York because he doesn't want to uproot his kids and tear them away from their friends. LeBron's children don't have any ties to Cleveland. Besides, the only place he can drive his Ferrari with the top down and enjoy the breeze along the water is in Miami.
Though returning home might seem like a storybook ending to his career, LeBron won't win championships in Cleveland. The Cavaliers may have younger talent, but bringing in Mike Miller and Ray Allen is not an improvement over the Heat. And LeBron would still have to put up with Gilbert, who has changed coaches four times, including bringing back LeBron's old coach Mike Brown for a disastrous run that ended after one season and a 33-49 record.
Now Gilbert has brought in David Blatt, a guy with a ton of overseas coaching experience but none in the NBA.
Leaving Miami would be a bigger act of betrayal. Heat owner Micky Arison and Heat president Pat Riley have accommodated LeBron in every way possible, from allowing him to take over team leadership from Dwyane Wade to bringing in the players who have helped LeBron make consecutive runs at the NBA championship. Miami has also given him the resources to improve his game and a young coach in Erik Spoelstra, who has earned his place as the second-longest tenured coach behind Gregg Popovich.
LeBron needs the Heat more than Miami needs him.