By: Cam Kelly
Happy Friday! It’s been awhile since I’ve been on the blog, but I wanted to talk about something that most of the NBA world has talked about since the middle of the finals. For the majority of the NBA world, the thought of LeBron leaving Cleveland is just a rumor, but in my opinion, it’s pretty much a sure thing–like go ahead and buy your LeBron James LA Lakers jerseys. I fully expect LeBron to leave Cleveland in Free Agency during the summer of 2018 and join the rebuilding Lakers who actually look like they are in good shape to be back on top in the league. LeBron has given us plenty of reasons to let us know he is leaving Cleveland and “Conspiracy Cam” went to work to break down all the clues and hints and has put it all together.
1. Front office turmoil: Cleveland’s Front Office is not good; in fact, it’s the complete opposite… Besides, over the past two weeks Cleveland’s front office has been Dan Gilbert and the Quicken Loans Arena custodian. They went out and got one really bad player and one very mediocre player, Jose Calderon and Derrick Rose. Then they fired David Griffin, which LeBron did not approve of. You can just tell things are awkward between Gilbert and LeBron, they just have never gotten past the letter really. NBA players love stability and well-run franchises. Cleveland has never been a well-run franchise, they’ve just been blessed with a franchise player in LeBron. But there is a team out West in Los Angeles–not named the Clippers–with a very good front office with Magic Johnson and Rob Pelinka.
2. Magic Johnson: Everyone compares LeBron to Michael Jordan when in reality LeBron’s game resembles Magic Johnson more than anyone. LeBron and Magic have always had great respect for each other. Magic told everyone that LeBron should be on everyone’s Mt. Rushmore of NBA-greats and has always supported LeBron throughout his career. Magic is a well-liked guy amongst everyone in the NBA and seems like he and LeBron would work well together on and off the court.
3. He delivered on his promise: LeBron had one goal when returning back to Cleveland: to deliver a championship to a city that has been in a 50+ year drought. He did that in historic fashion, which will go down as one of the most memorable and iconic performances in Finals history and one of the most historic Finals ever. Cleveland has their championship and LeBron has no more regrets of leaving Cleveland because he has delivered on his promise and quenched a city thirsting for success.
4. Legacy: After the 2016 NBA Finals, LeBron put himself in GOAT talks, as he should have. After that Finals, LeBron also made it very clear that he had nothing else to prove in this league. He obviously is still chasing championships and rings, but if he goes to LA and never wins a ring again, he will still feel like he has accomplished everything he has wanted to do in this league. Additionally, if he goes to LA and does happen to win a ring, I think that would make his GOAT case even stronger. Winning a ring for 3 teams and proving that no matter what team he plays for is a title-contender makes a very strong case.
5. Lakers vs. Cavs: This Cavs team is old–like very old. IT and Kevin Love are relatively old. Derrick Rose is injury prone. Kyle Korver is old. Richard Jefferson is old. Channing Frye is old. JR Smith is old. LeBron is aging; there is no way he can play the minutes he played last year if he wants to play for 7 more years. He needs people to help him take on that workload. Let us look at the Lakers: Lonzo Ball: young unselfish player. Brandon Ingram: young future star. Julius Randle: young solid player. Larry Nance Jr: young and athletic big man off the bench. Jordan Clarkson: young bench player. KCP: LeBron’s boy. A good young core. Add that in with the high odds of Paul George going to LA and LeBron has an interesting decision to make.
6. Silence is Deadly: So does no one find it funny how this entire summer the media has talked about LeBron potentially headed to LA, and he hasn’t denied it one time? He obviously hears it! This just strengthens the argument that ‘The King’ is officially on his farewell tour.
7. Cleveland’s moves: When LeBron first returned to Cleveland, they were making moves to win the title fast–like really fast. They weren’t planning for a long-term LeBron era. I mean if they were planning long–term for LeBron, why trade Andrew Wiggins for Kevin Love when Andrew Wiggins has so much potential? It’s because Kevin Love could help them win the title faster. Additionally, isn’t it funny how LeBron won’t ever commit long term? Why won’t he just sign a 10-year deal or whatever instead of all these short 2-3 year deals? To keep his options open just in case he wants to leave.
8. Social Media: This one is a wild card, but remember his tweet about how he was going to make a run with Jamal Crawford when he was back home in LA. It is so easy to overlook this for a casual NBA fan because we all know he has a house in LA, but when you’re “Conspiracy Cam”, you have to look deeper into these things. LeBron knows that every move he makes has been under a microscope since he was 15 years old. He knows that people look deep into his social media. I mean, look at his Instagram pictures and videos. He definitely double checks his tweets and this was purposely worded to get the NBA world talking, LeBron doesn’t just tweet to tweet. Everything he does on social media has a deeper meaning behind it.
9. Not a businessman but a business, man: LeBron has been deeply invested into his business life off court, and a majority of his businesses are in Los Angeles. What a perfect way to retire in Los Angeles where he can successfully run his businesses.
10. Owner: LeBron has made it very clear when he retires he wants to own or be a GM or just work for an NBA front office, and it just makes sense for him to get in with Magic and Rob before he retires. LeBron would much rather learn about the front office life from Magic Johnson who has already proved himself as a good President of Operations and Rob Pelinka a successful agent. Then there is just the difference of Los Angeles and Cleveland in means of success. You would rather run the team in LA.