LeBron James and The Decision: Part Deux

Ronald Martinez

LeBron James has one more year left before he can opt out for 2014 free agency. There's a lot of rumors about what will take place, but one thing is for sure - be ready for a season full of headlines.

Just over three years ago, LeBron James sat on a small stage and in front of the world made his decision to join the Miami Heat. After three consecutive NBA Finals appearances, two NBA Championships, and 2 MVPs, James' time with the Heat has been a major success and validated his decision to join Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh in South Beach.

But despite that success, fans should be ready for continual coverage of why LeBron will leave the Heat in 2014. It's inevitable. No, not that he will, but that the talk with happen and continue.


Pts Reb Ast
2012 - LeBron James 26.8 8.0 7.3

Sure, there are legitimate reasons why James should consider leaving the Heat. Wade seems to be slowing down and unable to stay healthy, nearly costing the Heat in the playoffs this season, he'll turn 32 next season. Chris Bosh, despite playing strong at the center position, found himself scoreless in the biggest game of the season. Shane Battier will retire at the end of this season, and likely Ray Allen as well. This team is older and will need to reinvent themselves in different ways to win more in the future.

Those are the arguments that outsides will cite even if the Heat win the championship this season. Will LeBron want to stay where his chances of winning will decrease? Can you imagine that for a minute? LeBron James possibly leaving a team that has won three consecutive championships? Now, if the Heat don't win, the talk will be even stronger.

Seems imaginable doesn't it? Regardless of what you think, you should be prepared for the talk. That is unless you only watch SunSports. But if you tune into ESPN, ABC, the radio or read online, it will be there.

There are a lot of suitors that will line up to entice LeBron. Obviously his hometown Cleveland Cavaliers will be in the mix. Although they signed Andrew Bynum, they gave themselves a team option next year to decide whether to drop that and pursue LeBron all out. They have the available cap space and Kyrie Irving.

After Dwight Howard left the Lakers, could they now pursue the King? Kobe Bryant was asked about this option. "It's that argument that goes on forever," Kobe said at his basketball camp at UC Santa Barbara. "You don't want to help someone else kind of increase their ring count, but he's already increased Dwyane's, so I don't think it's that big of a stretch."

Is this making you angry? Listen, I'm not going to tell you that LeBron is leaving or that any team has an edge over the Heat. But you should prepare yourselves for the chatter that will follow likely for the entire season. You know, when the Heat are in a small slump and you hear, "This is why LeBron will leave Miami this summer." Just remember, he's making good on his promises of championships.

If anyone can convince James what to do, it is Pat Riley.

Sure, if LeBron opts out the Heat will have some work to do to show him their plan for success. But also don't discount the public image threat that James would endure for jumping ship again to pursue a ring. Signs point to James staying in Miami, and that becomes more likely if the Heat win it all in 2014.

What do you think he will do?

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