In an interview with the Associated Press this week after the Heat's championship celebration died own, LeBron James spoke in the past tense about what the Heat have accomplished together, opening up the possibility that he'll opt out in 2014 as widely expected.
James ducked the question for the most part, but did say one particularly notable thing:
"I've been in this position before," James said. "I've heard it before. It can't get any worse than my season before I became a free agent in 2010."
Au contraire, my friend. After "The Decision" irrevocably changed sports culture forever and shifted the perception of free agency, people are more aware than ever that superstars can change teams, and that drives fan attention, which drives media attention. James said in the interview he's not going to talk about it, just as he didn't in 2010, but he was still hammered with questions the entire year. He's going to get the same treatment this season, perhaps more so because of the standard he set with The Decision.
The two biggest stories of the next NBA season will not be about the play on the court. It will be the 2014 Draft featuring Andrew Wiggins, Julian Randle, Jabari Parker, and more, and James' impending free agency. If James thinks it can't get worse, he just hasn't been paying enough attention, even as the Heat attempt a three-peat.