LeBron James has gained quite a troll following, much like the paparazzi stalking Princess Diana years ago. For example, MSN's Brian Geltzeiler makes all sorts of conjectures about everything James does. Seems about the only privacy he gets is in his Kia.
His much publicized meeting and workouts recently with Dwyane Wade in Miami, and subsequent tweets, had everyone buzzing about his commitment to his Cleveland Cavaliers teammates. Coincidentally James unsuccessfully tried to recruit Joe Johnson for the Cavaliers, but lost out to the Miami Heat. Could Johnson have inadvertently sold James on Miami?
After James' comments about the need of an enforcer, former Pacers and Heat member Danny Granger has gotten into the act by reminding people the Heat have those in spades. The Godfather Riley leaves no stone unturned in preparing for recruiting the top free agents in 2016 and 2017. Can he pull off another coup this time around?
A purely hypothetical team of Goran Dragic, Wade, James, Johnson, and Hassan Whiteside would be a NBA powerhouse to rival the Golden State Warriors, who have made a mockery of Adam Silver's goal of NBA equality in the league. There seems to a reduced interest in teams not named the Warriors this season. A resurgent Miami could bring back some competitiveness to the NBA.
The long-term future of Chris Bosh in basketball is getting more and more doubtful, so the Heat may have to resort a plan B, which includes Joe Johnson. Considering all the core components, except Whiteside, would be 30+ next season, the fix would be for only a season or two. Any such move hinges on shedding Bosh's max salary off the books in a year's time should he retire.
The gathering of Dragic, Wade, James, Johnson, and Whiteside, while appealing, is only a dream since off-court issues are likely too big to overcome.
First, James would not want to tarnish the legacy he leaves behind. The flip side to that thinking is renewed controversy surrounding him among NBA pundits. Cleveland may be too boring, and another move would get the media away from their fixation on Stephen Curry.
Second, Whiteside staying in Miami is not guaranteed. He may bolt for a starting gig somewhere else if their case is strong enough, think lots of money.
Third, the issue of Bosh, and the Heat's success without him, creates problems for the front office. That's a problem to be solved over the summer.
Fourth, the Heat's determination to stay under the cap for two years in a row to avoid repeater tax penalties implies the Heat will go over the cap next season to put together a championship for Miami. Could it be Riley wants James, not Kevin Durant?
The trolls follow James everywhere, which financially and egotistically is fine with him. Renting James for a few more years in Miami would be a win-win-win situation: James gets his notoriety, Miami raises its franchise value, and NBA can get some parity back to the league.