LeBron James returning to the Cavs is one of the most talked about NBA rumors since the Heat were trounced in the Finals. The general consensus around the national media is it WILL happen, but probably not for a few more years. Thinking back to the summer of 2010 and the following season the fact that there is even a discussion about this is amazing. So when might we realistically see the King don wine and gold again?
Pat Riley's press conference yesterday helped the Cavaliers. Don't get me wrong, at the end of the day Lebron is going to do what is best for him and his family, but Riley proved in 2010 that he can influence our native chosen one. Riley's rant summarized was the greats don't chase rings and doing so is going to cheapen the way history looks on him if he bolts south beach. I agree with Pat, I said the same thing 4 years ago, and if Lebron thinks there is a hint of truth to that Pat Riley just reduced Lebron's potential suitors down to two, Miami and Cleveland. LeBron wouldn't be running out the first door by coming to Cleveland he would be walking back through the one he left.
After this years Finals I guessed the odds on LeBron being on the heat at about 70%, Cav's at 20% and the field at 10%. The only reason Riley had that press conference yesterday is because obviously he is nervous about his big 3 becoming a tiny 2. New odds now, Heat 65%, Cav's 35%. The good news for Cav's fans though, is I think Lebron will not opt out this year meaning we will get another 365 or where will Lebron go. Two months ago I was thinking he would opt out to re-up for another four years.
LeBron has a lot of reasons to stay in Miami. It is a destination city, I have no plans of leaving northeast Ohio, but my outlook compared to global icons is a bit different. Well maybe there are not as many reasons as I thought. Do not get me wrong four straight Finals trips is impressive, I do not care how weak the east is. He does have NBA titles, getting past OKC in five games after the lock out and of course the epic seven game series last year against the Spurs. If the big 3 opt in are the Heat really in position to win a ring with so little cap space left.
A lot of media believes there is one big reason that Lebron will not come back, Dan Gilbert. Will the letter that will live in infamy keep the King from coming back. I don't think so. LeBron was wrong, not for leaving but for how he did. Had LeBron spoke with the Cavaliers organization earlier that day and simply said I am moving on, "the letter" would not exist. I am not taking Dan off the hook for writing the letter, and lashing out as a fan instead of an owner. I am guessing you don't run a few different billion dollar companies by missing out on "home run" deals, losing LeBron was probably the first time he failed to that magnitude and he just didn't know how to respond. He was wrong and needs to apologize.
There is a lot of talk about Dan Gilbert being a bad owner. I want examples, but with a catch, the examples need to be from 2010 and before. The last few years he has been trying to "win the break-up" and escape the shadow of the letter and yeah he seems to be too involved but what awful choices did he make while we had Lebron. Sure he hired Mike Brown before his GM, but Brown was one of the most respected assistant's there was, that was considered a win. A superstar in the NBA wields the most power in the franchise, even more then the owner, LeBron wanted rings and the Cav's built a team to accentuate his strengths which led to a 67.6 winning percentage his last four years here.
LeBron's best chance to win multiple rings in the future is with the Cav's. Kyrie, Wiggins and how ever David Griffin uses the rest of our young assets is a better roster then a broken Wade, Bosh and aging veterans they can get in the future. Gilbert never pinched a penny the way Micky Arison did last year when he cut Miller and made a salary dump. The Cav's are not a business to Dan Gilbert, they are a passion and he has proven he will spend any amount of money to strengthen the team.