Blog Entry

LeBron: 'Never mind 2010, I'm staying' (UPDATE)

Posted on: July 7, 2009 11:15 am
Edited on: July 7, 2009 1:25 pm
UPDATES THROUGHOUT with LeBron damage control.

The LeBron 2010 story keeps changing, as does the version that James himself reportedly gave to free agent Trevor Ariza.

After it was reported that James personally recruited Ariza by stating that he'd be in Cleveland beyond 2010, people close to LeBron have circled the wagons to refute it., which ran the initial LeBron-Ariza story, is now running one with the LeBron camp's denials.

The Cleveland Plain Dealer was first to refute the notion that LeBron told Ariza of his intentions for Cleveland in 2010, "I'll be there. Of course I'll be there." The comments seemed to contradict James' public stance on whether he would decline his player option and become an unrestricted free agent after next season. James has consistently stated that he's happy in Cleveland but hasn't decided what he will do.

Either way, James' recruiting pitch didn't work with Ariza, who opted to verbally commit to the Rockets. It was an odd story to begin with, since James would never recruit free agents by telling them he's planning to leave.

Nonetheless, this is an example of how LeBron's clever non-answers and fence-sitting when it comes to what he'll do next summer have come back to bite him. On one hand, he has every right to leverage his player option as a tool for getting the best deal and keeping the pressure on the Cavs to surround him with the best possible talent to win a championship. On the other, could his wavering have hurt GM Danny Ferry's efforts to recruit another free agent to bolster the pre-draft trade for Shaquille O'Neal?

That's where the LeBron conspiracy theory loses me. What is hampering Ferry is not LeBron's uncertain future, but the simple fact that he has only the mid-level exception to offer. Granted, that's what Ariza ultimately got from the Rockets. It's the same deal Ariza turned down from the Lakers. Ron Artest was hell bent on signing with the Lakers, so it didn't matter what anybody else offered. The point is, players are going to sign where they get the most money -- and if money is a wash, they consider a wide array of factors. None of them should be willing to decide the next five years of his career based on what LeBron may or may not do next July. Especially now, since the story changes every five minutes.

Dwyane Wade felt compelled to go public with his position that if the Miami Heat fail to surround him with championship talent, he'll decline his player option after next season and bolt. That's his prerogative. Is Wade going to privately tell free agents and/or players the Heat might target in sign-and-trades that he was just kidding? Either way, the glamour free agents of 2010 reap what they sow in terms of how they choose to leverage their positions. Where LeBron is concerned, his decision has always been and will continue to be about how close the Cavs are to a championship next June.


Since: May 16, 2008
Posted on: July 8, 2009 11:38 am

LeBron: 'Never mind 2010, I'm staying' (UPDATE)

Anyone who believes that LeBron is definately staying is deluding themselves.  Let me throw a scenerio at you: Shaq gets injured early on and never becomes a factor in CLeveland, Cleveland once again loses in Eastern Conf Playoffs.  LeBron would be insane not to test the market and see which team could best get him a title. 
The problem is that all of these high priced Free Agents in 2010 can best help there team by signing early.  I am a Heat fan and the best thing for Wade to do to gelp get him self surrounded by talent is to sign early.  If you were Chris Bosh and wanted to play in Miami, what would be more attaractive, signing AFTER Wade has signed a long term contract or signing and HOPING Wade will follow.
The Wade and LeBron experiments would go much smoother for both the player and the team if the free agents would sign early and send a message to the rest of the league, this would give each players team the barginning power it needs to surround thier star player with Championship talent.
Wade and LeBron need to listen to what they are saying and realize that they are the key to getting it done!

Since: Nov 27, 2006
Posted on: July 8, 2009 9:39 am

LeBron: 'Never mind 2010, I'm staying' (UPDATE)

It's really quite simple.  If the Cavs win the championship in 2009-2010, Lebron stays.  Anything short of a championship, and he leaves.....and Cleveland will be back to winning 25 games a year by 2012-2013.

Since: Dec 15, 2008
Posted on: July 8, 2009 9:12 am

LeBron: 'Never mind 2010, I'm staying' (UPDATE)

To all those who say Lebron's best chance is win a title is Cleveland, you guys are smoking something.  Lebron is the reason Cleveland even has a chance.  They were cellar dwellers before he got there, and will be when he leaves.  Lebron instantly makes the team he goes to playoff ready and possibly a contender.  He is a great ball player and a winner.  Cleveland is only where they are due to Lebron and Lebron only.  Let's be honest, could any lineup Cleveland put on the floor whin lets say 30 games without Lebron.  NO.

Since: Aug 21, 2006
Posted on: July 8, 2009 7:51 am

LeBron: 'Never mind 2010, I'm staying' (UPDATE)


These players use their free agency as leverage to get management to go after players, and the same threat they use scares those players away.

I can understand Wade wanting to leave, if it wasn't for him the Heat could have easily been the worst team in the league.  Lebron however, gets to play in his home town and was on a team that won 66 games and now has Shaq.  There's nowhere else he'll be able to go that has a better shot than Cleveland any time soon.

Kobe on the other hand, played his hand just right.  Committed early, didn't use that leverage, and got a guy who could easily get more money just fall into their lap.  You learned something from Kobe last summer Lebron, you should this summer too.

Good article Berger!

Since: May 17, 2009
Posted on: July 8, 2009 5:00 am

LeBron: 'Never mind 2010, I'm staying' (UPDATE)

It seems to me that the collective media feels they deserve to know LeBron James' intentions when 2010 rolls around. Will he stay or go?

Really, thats his business and he is under no obligation to say anything.

I know that sucks for Cleveland Cavs fans but that's how it works. The media doesn't have to make everyone out to be a Brett Frave, undecided on what to do season after season. One day we heard he said this and now I heard he is saying that...

Its his perogative, man. Stay or go, its Lebron's choice. And he doesn't owe an answer to anyone until the end of free agency in 2010.

Let's move on.  

Since: Sep 2, 2008
Posted on: July 8, 2009 1:16 am

LeBron: 'Never mind 2010, I'm staying' (UPDATE)

what you just wrote makes no sense at all. Of course it's about the money.  You wrote the amount of money Labron makes in basketball is pentance compared to what he makes outside of basketball.  You said his decision will come down to where he feels he most likely feels he can win a championship at.  It what you said was true Labron would sign with the Lakers next off season for the MLE.  If money is not important and if he wants to win a title thats the only thing he can do. Boston or Orlando can't afford him.  So if your boy Labron isn't a gold digger piece of trash you're saying he's not I want him to sign with the Lakers after the season for 6 million per year.  Until shut the hell up about How he ain't about money.  Only one free agent in the past couple of years can say that and thats Ron Artest maybe two if Odom signs up again. 

Let me tell you about Labron James legacy, he will be the D. Wilkens to Kobe's MJ.  Kobe had 3 titles at the same age of Labron.  Kobe's been to 6 title series Labron only one.  When it's all said and done Kobe will probably would of played in 8 or more title series.  Labron is screwed either way.  If he stays in Cleveland they are facing new turnover, Shaq will be gone next season, Anderson V, there best rebounder will be gone, the Z-man will be one year older and thats saying something for a guy that no showed in the post season.  If he goes to NJ or NY who the hell do they have to help him win a title.  If he does go to NJ or NY he will almost take half of the salary cap by himself so how are they going to afford other star players to help him out??  Just think of the Roster change over Cleveland will have in the next two years as well as NJ or NY.  The Lakes are primed for a serious run for at least 3 more titles.  There are young, and their best players are in there prime years Kobe, Artest, Odom, and Gasol. They also have an outstanding talent in Bynum who continues to improve when not injuried.  I'm keeping it real and I can honestly see the Lakers and Orlando in the finals for two more years

Since: Dec 22, 2007
Posted on: July 8, 2009 12:31 am

LeBron: 'Never mind 2010, I'm staying' (UPDATE)

your a moron.....i didn't say he was going to leave.....i know he isn't going anywhere noone can afford him but he will try just to see what kind of offers are there....we may never hear about them or see them on tv but it will articles before you respond you homer

Since: Sep 1, 2006
Posted on: July 7, 2009 11:47 pm

LeBron: 'Never mind 2010, I'm staying' (UPDATE)

Another idiot

Since: Jul 2, 2009
Posted on: July 7, 2009 11:07 pm

LeBron: 'Never mind 2010, I'm staying' (UPDATE)

I wouldn't put any money on Lebron staying in Cleveland past 2010 just yet. One thing we have to remember is that Lebron is still young (24) and a city with a high profile like New York is a very attractive option.  Nevermind the team that NY has put together at the moment, they are looking to spend next summer and if they sign 2-3 big names they could be instant contenders (ie: 2008 Boston Celtics).  Even though Ohio is Lebron's home, I wouldn't be surprised if he is looking for a change in scenery nest season, whether or not they take the title next season.  

Since: Feb 14, 2008
Posted on: July 7, 2009 10:54 pm

LeBron: 'Never mind 2010, I'm staying' (UPDATE)

I just wanted to say your post is terrible and completely incorrect.

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