My Hope for LeBron is That He Won’t ‘Ring Chase’
There isn't a single NBA team that wouldn't want LeBron James this summer. There should be, however, a long list of teams that the greatest player on the planet is ready to cross off his list. Some serious contenders included.
Everyone can understand LeBron's desire to win championships. He is 3-6 in his NBA Finals career and even he must know most of the Michael Jordan supporters lean on MJ's 6-0 mark on the game's biggest stage. That said, chasing rings won't elevate James above Jordan.
When it comes to legacy, a word that gets dirtier by the day, LeBron has already established his in a way that even equaling Jordan's six titles couldn't do. The King returned to his throne and brought the championship-starved city of Cleveland a title. That will forever be my lasting memory of what LeBron has meant to this game.
What I don't want to see this summer is LeBron join a team simply hoping to win a ring. Let's say he wins once or even twice with the Lakers. So what? Magic and Kobe each won five in the purple and gold. Shaq got three. There are statues outside Staples Center for the Lakers greats. One or two rings there won't get LeBron a statue. Jumping on what Houston has already built would be the definition of ring chasing. LeBron is above that. What would winning in Philadelphia do for the way we remember James? He has great respect for Dr. J and might want to be part of that franchise's history, but a short stay in the City of Brotherly Love won't be as memorable as his time in Cleveland or Miami.
So, this leaves us with a few options. The easiest and perhaps most difficult all at once: stay in Cleveland. No, this team is not built to win a title or even beat a healthy Celtics team, but retiring as a Cavalier would mean something. Option 2: go back to Miami and bring some friends. Dwyane Wade could even stay and play one more season in South Beach as a bench player and mentor. The third option I'll lay is biggest long shot of them all, but would do wonders for his legacy. There's that word again. Go to the Knicks. There are hurdles to clear, like New York's cap space issues, but think about LeBron bringing a title to Madison Square Garden. First, Cleveland and then New York. Two often hapless NBA franchises saved by the player of his generation.