07/01/15 by Matthew S. Vandriak
If you haven't heard yet, LeBron James is opting for free agency. Again. Yes, after his successful, one year return to Cavaliers, is "The King" deciding to leave his Cleveland court?
Well maybe not. It seems that LeBron is planning on returning to the Cavs for another season. King James is expected to sign another one year contract to stay in Cleveland. The reasoning for this, so he can make as much as he can this season. By exercising this option, James can earn the player max for this coming season, which his expected to be over$22 million. Had he not exercised his player option, he would have made just $21.6 million. But that's not the reason he's opting for free agency. By doing so, that means he'll have the option of being a free agent again in 2016, when the NBA's new TV deal kicks in and the salary cap takes a big jump. So for at least 2015/16, LeBron James will be a Cavalier.
But what if Cleveland fans worst nightmare happens again? What if after next season, LeBron James makes the "decision" to leave again? What if the Cavs don't win the title next season? What if they don't even make it to the Finals again? And then another team with a realistic shot at a championship comes along and makes LeBron an offer he can't refuse.
Remember what happened in 2010 when James decided to take his talents to Miami? Cavaliers fans practically rioted in the streets of Cleveland. LeBron James jerseys were burned in effigy. Cavs fans cursed James. Called him a traitor. Called him a sell out. Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert wrote a scathing letter criticizing LeBron. The hate for LeBron James in Cleveland was hotter than a burning river.
But then he came back. And the Cavaliers exceeded expectations and made it to the NBA Finals. Had Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love not been injured, they may have brought Cleveland their first championship since 1964. And not only did LeBron forgive and forget, he's probably going to leave money on the table again so the Cavs can sign back Love and Tristan Thompson so they have a chance at the title again next season. Should that happen, Cleveland should be a favorite for the NBA championship.
But what if the injuries that hit the Cavaliers in the playoffs hit earlier next season? What if James himself gets hurt and misses significant time? What the Cavs fall below expectations and don't make it back to the Finals? And then what if LeBron James decides to cash in one more time and leaves Cleveland again?
How will you react to that Cleveland fans? Will you accept that "The King" came back and gave took a shot at bringing a title to Cleveland, be thankful for the memorable seasons he gave you, and wish him well? Or will the streets of Cleveland be filled with enough burning jerseys it could be mistaken for Salem during the witch trials? Think about it Cleveland, because it could happen again.
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