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LeBron Can Get Bent

I read, with jaw asunder, that the Golden State Warriors "nearly" traded for LeBron James earlier in the week.

Why is NEARLY in quotation marks? Because I don't know if the procedure of that near trade has ever happened in the NBA.

Supposedly, the owner of the Golden State Warriors looked at the standings and realized his team was in jeopardy of exiting the playoffs during the play-in game.

So he picked up the phone and called Jeanie Buss and inquired what it would take to trade for James. Jeanie Buss picked up the phone and called LeBron's Agent and asked if LeBron was happy and he said "yes." So she said James wasn't on the trading block. Conversation over.

According to agent Rich Paul: "Jeanie has been an incredible partner (for James) and I think it's important for that to be understood and respected....ultimately LeBron's committed to the Lakers."

Listen LeBron is 39. The Lakers are 30-26. If he joined the Warriors today and if the Warriors only had to give up 3 or 4 future draft picks, (favorite type of deal for LeBron,) the Warriors would be the betting favorites in the West within minutes.

The Thunder and Timberwolves both have great young teams, but the playoffs are another animal. My question is: What happened to being committed to winning championships on a yearly basis?

Is James afraid of creating another Superteam? Doubtful.

Is James afraid of damaging his legacy by leaving another city? Doubtful.

Is James afraid that he can't physically win another Championship this year? Doubtful.

We have been remarkably consistent about this topic since the start of the blog. LeBron James is a businessman. He is happy that Los Angeles suits his brand and has good synergy with his production company.

But Father Time is undefeated, LeBron doesn't have many years left to win titles. He could have accepted the trade and played for a championship with the Warriors this year.

Then he could still opt out later this year and sign with a talented team like Oklahoma City, Minnesota,.....or Cleveland, teams that play good fundamental basketball. LeBron could sign for pennies on the dollar, he's already a billionaire, and be the force that pushes a team over the top in next year's Finals.

I just looked at the Bleacher Report's Full 2 Round 2024 NBA Mock Draft and you know who ain't on it? Bronny James. You know who they have the Lakers taking? A 23 year old, 6'7" small forward from Creighton. If young Bronny is on the draft board, there is no way the Lakers are letting him fall off the draft board.

There's a big difference between staying on a team to make sure your kid gets drafted versus leaving to try to win another championship. "LeBron wants to play with his kid?" Though noble, that is not the same verbiage as "I want to win a Championship."

Local Cleveland writers can romanticize about James coming back a third time, but I don't want him back, and Cleveland shouldn't want him back. The first two times he bled that franchise dry and held their feet to the fire at every turn. If I was the Cavs, I'd trade into the second round, one spot before the Lakers, pick James' kid, then NOT re-sign LeBron.

I would stand at the podium and say, "hey LeBron, that's for leaving twice."

You think that's petty? There's something that is very under-reported in NBA circles. The first time LeBron left, that decimated the Cleveland Cavs ON THE COURT. The Cavs were the worst team in the league and only rebuilt through multiple years of high positioning in the draft. When LeBron left the second time, the Cavs were still on a high from the team's first Championship. LeBron couldn't get out of town fast enough, Kyrie Irving couldn't get out of town fast enough. But the second time around, LeBron leaving crippled the ownership team. Within a year, a seemingly healthy 57 year old Dan Gilbert had a stroke....

Am I suggesting that James and Irving caused Gilbert's stroke? I am saying that the stress of the constant drama caused Gilbert's stroke.

That's inflammatory? Just last fall, the Dan Gilbert Foundation contributed almost $400 million for stroke research. Gilbert is still in a wheelchair.

So for James to go soft and accept mediocrity because he likes the California climate is borderline insulting.

If James would have spent his entire career in Cleveland, would he have still been a billionaire? Yes.

If James would have spent his entire career in Cleveland, could he have still opened his production company? Yes.

If the Cleveland Cavs had James on the team a third time and their record was .500 and the team was sitting in the #9 seed, LeBron would knock over Gilbert's wheelchair to get out of town.

I'm not fucking exaggerating.

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