Lebron James’ agent informed the Miami Heat that he is opting out of his contract. Before Miami fans panic, we should examine the possibilities. Lebron could go just about anywhere that he wants, as the best player in the league right now. As long as a team has the cash to throw on the table then there’s a chance, right? Wrong. Lebron is on a self proclaimed mission to be on the Mt. Rushmore of NBA players. He wants to go down as the greatest to play the game. He cannot do that by hopping around teams to chase championships.
If the 2014 NBA Finals taught us anything, it’s that Miami needs to retool their line-up and get a deeper bench that can take some pressure off of the Big 3 (if you can still call them that with Wade struggling throughout the finals). Lebron is the best player in the game, but one against five will lose every time. The Heat has a bench full of players past their prime that cannot be asked to carry a heavy load; Ray Allen, Udonis Haslem,Chris Anderson, and Rashard Lewis included. Unless the Heat prove that they are willing to put the necessary pieces around Lebron, then it’s possible he may leave. Or it may be more likely that Lebron is exercising his option in order to allow the Heat’s front office to make those moves by clearing salary cap space.
But, what if Lebron does leave Miami? Where would he go? The better question is where could he go? There’s only one answer – Back to Cleveland. Lebron has unfinished business in Cleveland. He never brought the championship to his hometown state and he left because the front office was unwilling to give him the help that he needed to do it. People may not have agreed with the way Lebron left the Cavaliers, but most understood why he left. However, leaving Miami to go anywhere other than Ohio to chase championships and rings in another city, well it seems a little cowardice. Mt. Rushmore players in their prime don’t jump to a team that they believe is built to win; championship teams are built around Mt. Rushmore players. If Lebron ends up in New York, Houston, or even LA, his legacy cannot remain unscathed regardless of how many more rings he wins. It may seem like Lebron has many options in front him, but really there are only two options – Miami or Cleveland.