Is LeBron James out of Cleveland?
By Beau Kemp
Since the beginning of this year’s basketball season, many NBA fans and sports analysts have been plagued by one question: What will LeBron James’ future with the Cavaliers be after this season? James’ history indicates that he is not solely devoted to Cleveland, as he has left the team before. Sports enthusiasts have spent this season debating whether or not he will stay with the Cavaliers or move on to a different team.
In 2003, James was drafted out of high school by the Cleveland Cavaliers as the first overall pick of the draft. People who have not closely followed his career might believe that he never left, as he currently plays for the same team, but this is not the case. He spent the first seven years of his career in Cleveland, where his team was knocked out of the playoffs year after year. After being knocked out for the fifth year in a row with a loss to the Boston Celtics, he entered free agency at the end of the 2009-2010 season.
On July 8, 2010, James declared that he would be playing in South Beach for the Miami Heat. Thus, a dynasty was created. In Miami, he joined his talents with two other superstars from the 2003 draft, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh. The team made the playoffs every year that he was in Miami, winning two championships in four years, showing Miami Heat to be a force to be reckoned with.
However, after a loss in the finals to the San Antonio Spurs in the 2013-2014 season, James decided to leave Miami. In 2014, he took his talents back to Cleveland to join Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving, who was the number one overall pick in the 2011 draft. Since then, James and the Cavaliers have made it to the finals every year.
With this year’s playoffs coming to an end, James and the Cleveland Cavaliers are currently in the Eastern Conference Finals matching up against the Boston Celtics. If the Cavaliers defeat the Celtics in the Eastern Conference Finals, they will have made it to the championship for the fourth year in a row. However, James’ contract is over at the end of this season and James has declared that he will be entering free agency after the playoffs, regardless of whether the team wins the championship or not. There may be good reasons for him to consider making a change.
Even though James’ agent claims that he is likely to stay in Cleveland, the regular season record for the Cavaliers was sub-par. At the beginning of the season, the Cavaliers were the favorite to represent the Eastern Conference in the championship, but once the season was underway, people began to doubt that the Cavaliers would be a top three seed. This led to an overhaul of the roster at the All-Star break.
With this being said, James is 33 years old, and age is one of an athlete’s greatest enemies. He has played a lot of minutes this season, and eventually, his body is going to catch up with him. Even though his agent said that he is likely to stay, it would not be a surprise if James did leave the Cavaliers for another team. He could join a different team with more talent, which would allow him a reprieve from the high number of minutes that he has to play.
Additionally, joining another team might increase his chances of making it to the championship, and, increase his pay. There is no shortage of teams that would be willing to pay top dollar for this talented athlete. 2018 may be the year where LeBron James finally leaves the Cleveland Cavaliers for good and goes on to fulfill his potential elsewhere.
I think the point about making it to a championship at the end needs some development to even things out a bit – and also with the part about increased pay. What does he make now? How could that increase…..
Just a couple of things to think about!