LeBron James GQ Interview: Return To Cleveland Could Be Fit For a King

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You see that NBA ratings haven’t rebounded since the Jordan era. You’ve won two MVP’s, but you see the glaring hole on your mantle and legacy is an NBA title. Not just one but several. Something to make you relevant all year around.

You look at your options and see one that would be polarizing. People would at first back lash against you and criticize you. They would say that you needed to join a great team to get it done.

Then again, there would also be people pointing out you took less money. That you put aside that thing called “ego” to join a team. Not just any team, but a ridiculously talented core that might put on the “Greatest Show On Earth.”

The saying goes “history is written by the victors.” In time, if LeBron manages to dominate the next three to five seasons, a great number of young fans are going to jump on the “James Bandwagon.”

All the video game players will want to use Miami as their team. The youngsters playing three on three in parks will pretend to play the roles of Wade, Bosh, or James. Teens and young kids buy the most jerseys and many of them will be asking for the new LeBron ones. A “Space Jam 2 ” would probably get done along with even more endorsement deals.

Most of all, James could potentially bring the NBA back to its zenith during the MJ days. This “Decision” has been so controversial that it has spiked NBA chatter. People are going to be tuning in to watch this team, either to root for them or against them.

In time fans might even have gotten over the outrage of the hour long ESPN special. They instead would mention how it netted over $2.5 million for a good cause.

After eight years, LeBron would have gotten his rings. He would have hopefully converted some of the fans that are upset with him due to his great play. All the while he would have continued to amass a fortune.

According to CNN LeBron had $170 million in sponsorship deals back in 2007. His list of deals included: $90 million from Nike, $15 million from Coke, $6 million from Upper Deck, $4.5 million from Bubblicious, and $7.5 million from Cub Cadet. His deal with MSN included $3 million upfront, and the partners will soon begin a phase in which Microsoft and LRMR will share advertising revenues sold on MSN’s LeBron site – 60% for LRMR and 40% for MSN”.

Since that time, LeBron has signed a huge contract with Miami and a new deal with Nike. James has been smart avoiding heavy taxes on his fortune by spreading it into corporations. Warren Buffet once said “I was amazed at how mature he was, not just physically, but in financial matters. At 21, I wasn’t remotely as mature as LeBron. Maybe at 51, I wasn’t as mature as him.” One should believe that if LeBron makes the right choices, continues to get more endorsement dollars and invests his money wisely he may be in a position to buy a majority share in a franchise.

This leads us back to Cleveland. The owner goes out of his way to prove you right by trashing you. He calls you a quitter even though he was dying for you to stay. Who wants to pay top dollars to a quitter if your main concern is for the team you own to win?

James told GQ that his mother said: ‘You will see the light of people when they hit adversity. You’ll get a good sense of their character.’ Me and my family have seen the character of that man.”

This man in no way thanks you for making a franchise that had been dead since the dismantling of Mark Price, Craig Ehlo, and Brad Daugherty, relevant again.

You guided the team to multiple conference and one NBA Final. Gave the city hope, joy, and for seven years an economic boost. Yet the owner does not mention any of this.

By being so vindictive, he shows the world why you might not have wanted to work for him. Because you knew he had no class. That he cared more about the potential hit to his franchise’s value. That he would try to paint you as a villain if you didn’t do what he wanted.

You had burnt bridges on your way out, but then what if the fans one day forgave and accepted a triumphant return? What if after nine years you go back home at the age of 33 with at least three to six years left?

You see it all the time. The athlete vilified on his way out the door and then welcomed back with open arms. In Miami, Ricky Williams and Alonzo Mourning did it. It’s happened throughout sports.

LeBron would then be in a power position. The Cavaliers franchise would be reduced to a fraction of its current value. In late June, Former Trail Blazers President Bob Whitsitt said “If I asked today what could you sell the Cavaliers for, obviously the first question is, ‘Is LeBron on the team or not? If he’s not on the team, you’re probably going to be looking at something that starts with a 2, maybe $250 million. If he’s on the team, you’re looking at something that starts with a 5.”

Suddenly the amount of money you would have spent to get a piece of the franchise with you in it would now net you almost the entire pie. LeBron would be a player/owner at 33 years of age.

James would have three or four quality playing years left in the tank. He would surely pull out all the stops and cash in every favor owed in order to build a winner.

If during those four years he manages to win one or two titles, he would surely be loved by the Cavalier fan base. They would have their hometown hero return. He would be one of the leagues most popular owners and that would help the franchise. Most of all he would’ve still won Cleveland a title.

You can almost see it, an old and humbler James. Sitting there hugging what he knows is his very last trophy. Bathed in champagne for a final time. He did it in the colors he first wore when he entered the league. He won it for the fans that supported him since day one.

What could make this moment any better? O’ yeah you’re now the owner of the organization. You were able to do this because you lowered your buying price while eliminating a disrespectful owner and cementing your legacy by winning multiple titles on quite possibly the greatest team ever.

Not a bad career there “King James”.

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