LeBron James still doesn’t know what he is doing at the end of this season. At least, that’s what he says. LeBron has maintained that he hasn’t thought about the summer of 2014 with the remarkable consistency of his post move. However, that doesn’t stop us from reading into his responses every time he repeats it.
LeBron told ESPN.com recently that staying in Miami would be “ideal” given the right circumstance.
“I would love to spend the rest of my career in Miami with this great team and great organization as we continue to compete for championships. That’s ideal. But we don’t know what may happen from now to the end of the season. That’s the nature of the business. It’s the nature of not knowing what tomorrow brings.”
The Miami Heat are chasing a third-straight title. Many believe that winning or losing the title will determine if LeBron remains in South Beach. I think that is incredibly short-sided and even insulting to LeBron. Winning three championships in a row, as great as an accomplishment as that is, does not determine future championships. That said, I believe that a championship locker room filled with championship teammates striving to win more championships with championship talent will convince LeBron to stay.
His contract with the Heat does not say “if Employee should win three National Basketball Association championships in a row after losing his first while under contract with Company, then signee shall return to Company.” No. It doesn’t say that.
What LeBron says is “as we continue to compete for championships.” COMPETE FOR CHAMPIONSHIPS. NOT WIN A CHAMPIONSHIP THIS SEASON AND I’M IN. COMPETE.
Don’t get me wrong, nothing proves that you can compete for a title like winning one, but it will take more than winning the 2014 NBA Finals to convince LeBron to stay. It will take Pat Riley selling a new plan to LeBron, too.