Sometimes speculation is based on something a player or a member of a team’s front office says or hints at. Other times, it’s just the media trying to make something out of nothing. LeBron James to the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2014? It’s the latter, and it simply doesn’t make sense.
Financially, although that doesn’t seem to be the thing that drives LeBron James, who gave up a few millions in order to play next to Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade, it makes sense, always, to stay with the team you’re playing for. If you’re going for a max contract, which LeBron James deserves but might settle for less, staying where you are is always the best answer. That’s why people assume Dwight Howard will hook up with the Lakers long-term, despite the kind of first season he’s had there next to Kobe Bryant.
And while loyalty isn’t exactly something worth too much these days in the NBA, by the time his contract is up in 2014, James might be two or three time NBA champion, in the middle of building a dynasty. Even with Dwyane Wade sliding in his ability and dominance (which is arguable as well), a core of James and Bosh with the right kind of supplementary players – young talents next to veterans who want a chance to win a title and are willing to sacrifice money for it, should do very well and still be in contention for titles for quite a few seasons. LeBron James is simply that good.
And maybe the simplest way of describing it? It doesn’t make sense. After the hatred clouds disappear, it’s hard to find a single Cleveland fan who doesn’t want LeBron James to sign again with the team in 2014. Right now, despite Kyrie Irving, the Cavs don’t seem to be going anywhere under Dan Gilbert. Maybe another high draft pick to add to Irving and Waiters, hoping that injuries don’t get in the way again, might help them elevate from the conference cellar, more or less.
And yet, why would LeBron James return to a team that has Dan Gilbert as its owner. The letter, the words and fueling the fire, maybe even with some racial tones to it (James himself said he thinks race had a hand in the way he was treated and viewed after choosing to leave). None of it sounds like something LeBron James would like to put behind him and pretty much give Gilbert a present by returning to a team that possibly didn’t do enough, or the right moves, in order to put LeBron James in a better position to win the championship. I don’t think anyone thinks anymore that he’s the reason the Cavs didn’t win it during his 7 seasons with the team.