LeBron James is one of the most unique players in NBA history. That may be stating the obvious when it comes to his talent on the hardwood, but the same goes for off the court too. The same way he’ll never share the killer instinct Michael and Kobe possessed, LeBron has no problem making the unpopular decisions when it comes to flip flopping around from team to team — something his predecessors never considered.
A recent Stephen A. Smith report hints that if LeBron can take Cleveland to the promise land and win a NBA Title this season, he’d consider going back to Miami in free agency. Yes, you read that correctly. LeBron would consider leaving if he came through on his word to bring a championship to his hometown. Kind of backwards compared to what we typically hear.
Nonetheless, win or lose, we might be talking about yet another King James decision this summer — what we thought was going to be the summer of the KD sweepstakes is looking less and less likely. That’s because if Durant were to win a title in OKC, why wouldn’t he stay?
Anyway, forget the rumors for a minute. Let’s say LeBron goes against the grain and picks yet another new team, leaving both Cleveland and Miami hanging. What teams might be the best fit?
SELLOUT FOR LALA LAND
We all know LeBron is a business. What better place to bring his business than Hollywood? Especially with Space Jam 2 in the mix. ’Bron would have to make a decision which locker room to call home, though.
Los Angeles Lakers
This has been once of the obvious choices for LeBron all along. However, the storyline used to be playing alongside Kobe, now it would be following in Kobe’s footsteps. Given the history of the franchise and LeBron’s appreciation for the history of the game, the Lakers will always be attractive to him. The downside is the young core of the team. LeBron would certainly want some of those pieces shipped off for a co-star to join his cast, as he made happen with the Wiggins for Love swap.
Los Angeles Clippers
If LeBron wants to be in L.A. and the goal is strictly winning, the Clippers are the better option. Maneuvers can be made to fit LeBron with at least two of the three current stars in place. James also has a lot of respect for Doc Rivers going back to his battles against the Celtics in the East and a great relationship with Chris Paul from USA basketball. The Clippers aren’t a historic team, but hey, neither are the Cavs.
BECOME A HERO IN A BIG MARKET
Going back to the decision in 2010, there were a couple of East Coast franchises that would love another crack at LeBron and can give a similar pitch to the Lakers, minus the weather and the stars and the lifestyle LeBron probably loves.
New York Knicks
LeBron is just so different when it comes to decision making that I could see anything happening. Two of the things I could see him most wanting to do before his career is over? Playing for the Knicks and playing with Carmelo. This would accomplish both. IF, and it’s a huge if, LeBron could capture a title in NYC, he’d no doubt go down as an all-time legend.
Want to follow in the footsteps of Michael Jordan? Win a ring for the Bulls. A lot of these teams simply come down to the fact that LeBron is a basketball nerd. So was Kobe, but Kobe was a lifelong Laker. LeBron has already moved all over the place. If he gets his hometown a ring, maybe a challenge like this could be on his bucket list (although I’d say the Knicks are much more likely). The Bulls do have better pieces than the Knicks to either keep alongside LeBron or ship off for the type of help that best fits.
IF YOU CAN’T BEAT ‘EM, JOIN ‘EM
We’ve seen LeBron create a “super team” before in 2010. In 2016 we’ve reached new levels. Maybe LeBron backs out of his word after losing the Finals and tries to join his defeater, or get the loser of the WCF over the hump. Of course, the bigger question — would that team have him?
Oklahoma City Thunder
The Thunder have been beyond impressive, so it’s become safe to say Durant is going nowhere. But if they’re going to continue their success, reinforcements will be needed. What if that was LeBron? Carve out the room with a contract like Kanter’s, and take things to the next level of small ball. Would Russ and KD ever want this to happen? Probably not. Would it be a whole lot of fun? Yup.
Golden State Warriors
We’ve heard the Durant to GSW rumors all season. It’s just not going down. If the Warriors fall to OKC or Cleveland, they’ll be looking to make some changes. What if GSW used the space they were rumored to be offering Durant to LeBron? This would have heads exploding and create probably the most fun team ever. Harrison Barnes out. LeBron James in. There’s your greatest starting five of all-time. 82 wins here we come!
GO TO THE BEST FIT
LeBron has always been the ultimate team player throughout his career. He has his issues, but when it comes down to team basketball LeBron does it all the right way. So what team plays the most fundamental team basketball?
San Antonio Spurs
Seriously, LeBron on the Spurs would be awesome AND frightening. You could go small and start LeBron with Kawhi and Aldridge in the front court or big with LeBron as the point guard. San Antonio would be matchup proof, and have the best coach in the league to actually … well, COACH LEBRON! Something he hasn’t exactly had much of in his career. The Spurs have never been about featuring one guy, and when it comes down to it, neither has LeBron. This is a real fit.
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