Avoid West Young Man
There is still a long ways to go in this NBA season, and it’s shaping up to be one hell of a intriguing playoff! For Canadian basketball fans, weather you’re a Raps fan or not I’m sure we would all agree that it is awesome to see them relevant again #IbelieveinMasai and while the East is down this season, it has two big time heavyweights on a collision course to meet up in the East final. Of course one of those heavyweights are the Miami Heat, led by Lebron James….who happens to be a free agent this summer. Nobody really has a feel for where he will end up. But if I were him, I would be staying in the East.
Why? I just hit on it in the opening paragraph. The East is down, and looks like it’ll be staying down for a while. The West is a GRIND. And this guy is all about winning titles, which is why he took less money to hook up with Wade and Bosh in Miami. So then why would you want to go through what the Western conference teams have to go through every year?
Oklahoma City, Houston, Golden State, Portland, the Clippers, the Suns are a good young team and loaded with picks in this great draft to get even better, the Spurs are about to fade but as long as Gregg Popovich remains the coach of the Spurs they’ll be a pain in the ass, and we all know that while the Lakers are down now they won’t be down for long. So why go to the Clippers or Warriors or Lakers and have to go through 7 damn good teams just to get to the finals?
You have to stay in the East if you’re James. I don’t know if he’ll stay with the Heat because they could be on their last legs (although nobody should rule out Wade taking a BIG pay cut to allow them to bring in more pieces, he is the key). I think the theory of him going back to the Cavs is pretty much dead. Chris Broussard of ESPN recently said that at the start of the season it was a coin flip on weather James would return to the Cavs or stay in Miami because of course at the start of the season the Cavs looked as though they had one of the best young teams in the league. Kyrie Irving is still a great young player to play with, and perhaps if James could convince another free agent to sign there with him it would be possible.
Believe it or not, former Raptors coach and current FAN 590 regular Butch Carter believes that should James leave Miami that Toronto…yes TORONTO….would be right at the top of James list. His reasoning for this is A) it is the closest city to Cleveland in the NBA, B) the Raps have built a great young team and C) Masai Ujiri is proving himself to be one of the best GM’s in the NBA. Now Carter is an Ohio native, though I have no idea how strong his connections are to James. Add to the reasons given above, MLSE now has Tim Leiweke running things and he has already proven what an amazing recruiter of elite talent he can be. I don’t know shit about Euro football, but I do know that for a horrible franchise like Toronto FC to land Jermain Defoe and Michael Bradley it wasn’t just a bloody big deal….it was bloody impressive! Having said all this….I wouldn’t hold my breath on this happening. But it is intriguing.
New York is always a strong possibility for James. It’s the media capital of North America, he could team with his buddy Carmelo Anthony, owner James Dolan has no problem being over the luxury tax, and if LBJ teamed with Melo they would have zero issue attracting free agents. Of course they would have to clear some room to add James, but I’m sure they could get this done. And New York is a basketball city first and foremost, I hear New York people working in the media say this all the time, so if he were to bring some titles to NYC who haven’t seen an NBA title now for 41 years he would elevate his brand even higher. Also for many of the same reasons the Knicks are a possibility, so are the Brooklyn Nets.
Of course James is now chasing Michael. He could win his 5th league MVP this season which would tie him with MJ, and should Miami win it all again this season he would be half way there. So would he want to attempt to catch Jordan wearing the same uniform? Well it might be the best fit. Derrick Rose likely will never be the elite point guard he had become. But I still believe he is going to be one of the best in the league once he gets back on the court. The Bulls are currently the 4th seed in the East without Rose or a guy like James. Tom Thibodeau is an elite head coach in this league, Joakim Noah is one of the top center’s in the league, and they’re one of the best run organizations in the league (unlike the Knicks). Most believed this is where James would go in 2010 before Bosh signed in Miami.
Point is in all this, plenty of great spots for James to go in the East and it makes WAY more sense to stay in that conference. No matter where the guy goes, it’ll instantly become one of the top places to play in the league. If he is all about titles (and I really believe he is), there isn’t much point in entertaining the idea of playing in the Western conference. Why bother going through the grind of Western conference playoffs when you can breeze through the first 2 rounds of the Eastern conference playoffs? I would say that gives you a much better chance at winning titles, and if you keep winning titles then those whispers will get louder and louder that you might be the best of all time.
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