Even though it may seemed played out, there is so much more to add to the LeBron James departure as he’s in the middle of trying to force a trade by New Orleans to get All-Star Chris Paul out of New Orleans. They say misery loves company and that’s where many believe James is at right now – complete misery – because he never thought the backlash from his “Decision” would be escalated to such heights. They just don’t remove the sign coming into the town you were born – a state that is proud of their own people which include eight United States Presidents.
Last week LeBron James tweeted several times to his buddy Chris Paul – an overall great character guy with lots of integrity – “To do what’s best for you and your family,” the same garble we all heard from him during his infomerical a few weeks ago.
Paul has two years left on his contract and the Hornets would be crazy to even consider a deal for one of the top players in the league, but there have been rumors of the Knicks and Magic trying to work out a deal. This is crazy, now we have players under contract who are trying to create mega-teams elsewhere.
The main culprit within this whole charade looks to be World Wide Wes – the cling on who has made a lucrative career out of grasping his hooks into just about every young basketball player who will listen. WWW may be the most detrimental thing to happen to the NBA since cocaine in the late 1970’s.
Between whatever WWW has done to college basketball programs – a mix of players and coaches – and the current regime of young players in the league, NBA commissioner David Stern needs to seriously look into what is going on. If only someone like Jesse Jackson had something negative to say about it, because that seems to be what gets Stern to comment – that and brawls on the court. It was just three weeks ago that Stern had no comments for four full days following “The Decision” happening in his league and didn’t comment until Jackson forced him to following Dan Gilbert’s raging letter.
Folks in the know always say that any publicity is good publicity. As LeBron James and the Miami Thrice roll into the playoffs, there won’t be many supporting the team, but it will generate a lot of interest. It’ll be a nation rooting completely against him the entire way which just maybe could come down to a meeting with Kobe Bryant and the Lakers.
If Bryant hasn’t proved himself to the world already as the league’s premier NBA superstar – one that has paid the price for his tarnished image in Colorado – then, beating Miami in the finals will do it.
But what happens if the LeBron train rolls through like Las Vegas sports books expect as they have installed Miami as the 9 to 5 favorite over the two-time defending NBA Champion Lakers. Will the ratings increase continue through the 2011 season or will people have enough and say “It’s time to start watching MLS soccer.”
If Miami does win the title during the 2010-11 season, what is next? Does LeBron’s move pave the way for high end NBA stars to forego any loyalty or devotion to the fans who essentially pay their salaries and leave the team where they began. Does it make it okay to jump onto an all-star team to compete with the Heat? And where does that leave all the other teams in the league? It was tough enough trying to excel in certain markets with quality players.
Many of those answers will be more clear once Carmelo Anthony decides where he is going following the upcoming season. There are lots of rumors declaring him primed for the New York Knicks as they have lots of money available following the LeBron snub. The only thing certain is that World Wide Wes will have some say in the entire scenario.
We can all thank the franchise of Michael Jordan for giving World Wide Wes street creditability. What turned out to be a gopher role for the “Real King of the NBA” in the 90’s turned into a gold mine several years later for the person that has become the NBA’s puppeteer of young men. If Michael Ray Richardson can be banned from the game for his demons, then so should World Wide Wes for his demons that could be equally detrimental to the game.