Tuesday, June 29, 2010

06/29 Quickie: LeBron-Wade-Bosh in Heat?

The latest twist in the Summer of LeBron: That he, Wade and Bosh convened in Miami over the weekend to talk about teaming up in Miami.

As it happens, that was going to be the lead of today's SN column all along: Why I am simultaneously repulsed and thrilled by this.

You can read the entire argument here, but this gist is this:

LeBron wants (or needs) championships. It could be to fulfill his inner NBA soul or to help him become a billion-dollar global brand. It doesn't matter. He needs to win titles.

The path of least resistance to winning titles is to join up with Wade and Bosh in Miami. LeBron would have to subordinate his "alpha" personality, but in exchange, he gets rings. Many rings.

I have always had zero sympathy for the NBA stars who went ring-less: They all had their chances to set their egos aside and play with Jordan or Kobe or Duncan for less cash and win rings. They chose money over glory.

LeBron has the chance to have his cake and eat it too: He can get max money and still win tons of rings, all the while looking magnanimous for joining forces.

And, frankly, it kills me for the rest of the league (including my team), but I want to see what three stars -- two uber-stars -- can do. 72 wins? More? One title? More?

I reject that LeBron needs to be the only "A" star on his team. I reject that players want to beat other stars en route to titles. There is no such thing as a qualified ring.

(Besides, there are plenty of opportunities to beat stars: The Heat can start with their in-state rival from Orlando/D-12, then move on to Kobe or Durant in the West.)

Here is the big theory: Winning titles and beating rivals has been done plenty of times in the NBA. See the tired old Lakers-Celtics thing, now going on 25 years.

If LeBron wants to create an NBA evolution -- transcend the previous stars -- the way to do it is to reject the "one big star per team" theory that dominated the league since forever.

Establish the "post-rivalry" era, where superstars sublimate themselves for the chance to not just win rings but make history.

THAT should be the appeal for LeBron. Presumably, he can win titles anywhere. Only in Miami, with D-Wade (and Bosh along for the ride) can he create an entirely new framework for stardom.

If he cares about winning, he can go virtually anywhere -- let's say, Chicago. If he cares about winning AND creating a post-Jordan or post-Lakers/Celtics legacy, he must go to Miami.

See the entire column here, including a plan to get Strasburg in the All-Star Game that won't ruffle any sensibilities.

-- D.S.

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