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June 27, 2014

On The Rebound: LeBron Decision II tougher than first

LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. — LeBron James has announced he will take the early termination option of his contract and become a free agent. That does not mean LeBron will leave the Miami Heat, but that he does have the option. He also has the option to pressure the Heat owners to assemble the team he wants.

Maybe LeBron James has no concern for public opinion. If he does, then he should stop flopping like a fish thrown onto the bank every time someone of lesser proportions touches him.  All indications are that James is sensitive about his legacy. Another jump would make him look more selfish than his last “Decision.”

There is one sure way for The King to win back the majority of the fans he has disenfranchised over the last four years. Sign today with the Cleveland Cavaliers regardless of what other moves they make. Then stay there for the rest of his career. I’m not saying that is what I would do, but it is the only way.

LeBron wants what Tim Duncan owns. Duncan has won multiple titles and has earned nothing but respect while winning them. If he wanted to be Duncan he should have stayed in Cleveland, so that ship has sailed.

The next thing the King wants is to win and win big. He is stung by the fact that his team just lost in the NBA Finals by more points than any team in history.

There are a lot of options for LeBron with Cleveland getting the most attention. There he would be paired with a star point guard in Kyrie Irving and the No. 1 pick in this year’s NBA draft. Those are good building blocks and potentially another big three, but the King isn’t about building projects.

The Cavaliers have also talked about adding Carmelo Anthony, which might change things. The Lakers and Hawks are also interested in adding Carmelo and or James. The Hawks are following the plans of San Antonio on how to build a team, but again we are talking building.

James Hardin and Dwight Howard in Houston are a big two that needs a third. That seems like a better fit for Anthony than LeBron. The big three has to be unselfish.

Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah need another star in Chicago, but Rose has missed two seasons. It would also be another slap in the face of Cleveland fans if LeBron returned to a rival in their division.

It comes down to this; the Heat will still be the best team in the Eastern Conference. If they had not allowed Mike Miller to leave and waived Patrick Beverly they possibly could have won this year’s title.

They lost to a team whose three stars all took pay cuts and remember who LeBron will try to emulate. Wade is not going anywhere. If he does opt out, it probably means all three are taking a pay cut to stay with the Heat.

Throw in the fact that Florida has no state income tax, which is kind of a big deal when you make over $20 million a year. My money goes with LeBron to stay in Miami, but my bank account never held $20 million.

mhoward@sentinel-echo.com

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