Monday, June 29, 2015

ESPN "The Decision" Round two

July 8,2010 seems like mere distance now, but back at that point the basketball world was in a frenzy with Lebron James, along with  ESPN's Jim Gray formulated the idea of having his network air Lebron's free agency decision amongst a myriad of controversy. The sound clip which to this day is played around the world and that being, "this summer, I've decided to take my talent, ah this is hard, I've decided to take my talents to South Beach to play the Heat". Later, he proclaimed the reason he ultimately chose the Heat was due to striving for not one, not two, not three, not four but five championships. Definite sound bite central but as the story unfolded, those projected five championships never came to fruition. Fast forward to summer 2015 and the decision may be repeated all over again, but potentially with a different result.

Tagging along for the decision part two this time will be his companion  Dwayne Wade. There are so many permutations and combinations that could play out with several moving pieces surely proving as bait to sway the two's decision. There's no guarantee that Wade and James will come to the agreement to join forces but if there anybody in the business of winning, it's  these two amigos so attaching by the hip increases a 2016 NBA title reign greatly.

Let's begin to discuss some potential destinations for these two and weigh in on the pro's and cons on what makes each destination intriguing.....

The Cleveland Cavaliers are who I am favouring in this horse race as Lebron James opting out of his contract could've been viewed as merely a tactical maneuver as opting out allows time to assess the situation while re-structuring the contract. The Cavaliers would almost certainly have the flexibility to structure both Dwayne and Lebron into the fold. The Cavaliers were a  fast-tracked competitive organization due to their spring of dazzlement in the 2014 free agency period. Technically on the floor, Wade's presence would provide something the Cavaliers were sorely missing in their close call against Northern California's favourite son, the Golden  State Warriors and that is an ability to have a tangible second option driving the hoop. As good of a passer as Kyrie is, he's shown me an unwillingness at times to cut hard and take on the post-up defenders. This is something D-Wade isn't afraid to do.

The Boston Celtics led by new wonder coach Brad Stevens have to be on this for the very reason that the aside from Stevens, the city of Boston marks off every box in the two's checklist. It's a big market with a storied reputation of winning, and an unbelievable young nucleus that are ready for that next step very much like how Tristan Thompson, Kyrie Irving along with Timofey Mozgov were for this past year's playoff run. Marcus Smart is a terrific floor general that can step into the Irving shoes, fellow Canadian and Kamloops native Kelly Olynick could represent what Thompson brought with sizeable better offensive skills and the big man himself Jared Sullinger is criminally underrated amongst the NBA community and is ready for shining moment. James and Wade added as the vets, and I'm sure they'd be able to convince a couple more players who know playing with Lebron virtually guarantees a final four appearance wouldn't be a hard sell as the likes of Mike Miller, Shaun Marion and Ray Allen have all followed Lebron around over the years.

The Los Angeles Lakers are my darkhorse, not that you can really consider the Lakers as a darkhorse in any realm. My theory behind this choice is that because Kobe Bryant, who is highly respected by his fellow peers for his unquestionable results has made it clear that after 2016 he will be hanging up the sneakers and what better way to send him off then with a title. Lebron, Wade and Kobe have the Olympic bonding experience and just like Boston, Los Angeles is a prime time market and would give players who sign here the ability to thrive on and off the court. I mean heck, even Metta World Peace aka Ron Artest, whatever he's calling himself these days was able to be corralled by Kobe and that individual is the epitome of an ego. Los Angeles has been craving a winner since 2009 and Lebron has been craving a title since 2013(for him a year without wining is an eternity, imagine what two feels like) and might see Kobe as someone worth suiting up alongside. Not to mention the impending acquisition of Demarcus Cousins provides the toughness inside as Laker fans were beginning to become accustomed to big man that played like band-aids such as a Jordan Hill and the notorious under achiever Andrew Bynum.

In summarization, my gut says that around mid July you will see the two sign with the Boston Celtics. What this really means, because at the end of the day I'm never really right so with my luck watch them sign in China but in all seriousness, as theorized earlier the Celtics provide the tools and coaching staff needed by superstars to elect to end up coming to that particular destination and for a city already known for being "Boston Strong", I believe is about to be a little stronger.

Thanks for this, hope you enjoyed. Feedback certainly encouraged and I can be reached by e-mail at and at twitter @bretzky26.

Brett Murray

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