|I wonder if they have this in storage somewhere ... (Getty Images)|
Set your DVRs for The Decision Part 2: Electric Boogaloo. It could be one of the greatest redemption stories we've ever seen in basketball.
Do you remember the summer of 2010 when all hell broke loose during LeBron James' free agency announcement special? There were jerseys burned in Cleveland, people arrested on the streets, and message boards flamed for months about how terrible of a person James was and how cowardly he was for leaving Cleveland to join up with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh in Miami. It was quite the spectacle during the show and for well over a year after everything went down.
The Cleveland Cavaliers apparently are willing to forget all of that as they shape their roster for the future. According to Jason Lloyd of the Akron Beacon Journal, the Cavs are positioning themselves to make a run at LeBron James when he can be a free agent in 2014:
Executives and agents around the league are convinced the Cavaliers won't do anything to jeopardize their ability to sign a free agent to a max contract during the summer of 2014, when LeBron James can again become a free agent. As fans in Northeast Ohio continue to howl and remain divided about the possibility of his return, more and more people around the league believe there is a strong possibility James will indeed return to Cleveland after next season.
The Cavs are well aware of this, too, and won't take on a bad contract if it compromises their cap space in two years. That means any bad contract they would obtain in a potential trade would have to expire after next season. It doesn't make a deal impossible, but it dramatically reduces the field — and it decreases the price the Cavs can command since their future obligations would be brief.
That would certainly be a plot twist in this entire LeBron James-Cleveland saga.
From the feeling of abandonment and accusations of cowardliness to Dan Gilbert's strongly Comic Sans'd letter to the copious amounts of vitriol thrown LeBron's way over the first two years after he left for Miami, it would certainly be an odd show of contrition and maturity for both sides if this actually happened. We have no way of knowing just how likely this is and how receptive to the idea LeBron would be, but it would certainly make a lot of news.
The Cavs would essentially have Kyrie Irving as the running mate next to LeBron. The two are reportedly very close and with Irving's ascension into the NBA stratosphere of stardom, it would be an attractive talent to team up with. And perhaps if Tristan Thompsoncontinues to show what he's shown this month and if Tyler Zeller or Dion Waiters are able to grow into being a good player, there would be enough good talent and roster flexibility to woo LeBron away from Miami.
There have also been rumors about the Lakers going after James when he's a free agent and you can be assured about a dozen other teams will attempt to clear space to try to tempt LeBron to bring his talents to their city. But will they be able to offer the same story of redemption as LeBron could have with Cleveland? What if he still wants to bring a title to his home state? Will the fans accept him? Would this quest for redemption endear him to the rest of the basketball world?
Isn't this the kind of story that everybody would eat up? That is assuming you're not a fan of the team he flirts with and then doesn't sign with, of course.
(H/T - SLAM Online)