(AP Photo/Elise Amendola)
I have to say I didn't see it coming. I thought this year the Cavs had all they needed to win a title. They had 2 pretty good SF/PF combos in Jamison and Hickson. They had a decent PG in Williams and a great hustle guy in Sideshow Bob. They brought in Shaq to deal with D12 in the conference finals and they had the best player in the league. Only problem was they'd never see the Conference Finals. Even though he posted a triple double (27 pts 19 reb 10 ast) in Game 6, it still wasn't enough. Some people are saying LeBron just doesn't know how to win when it matters. Others are saying Mike Brown couldn't coach a girl's youth softball team. It doesn't really matter at this point. Brown will be gone. It's possible Danny Ferry will be gone as well. LeBron has a decision to make. Let's take a look at his suitors and stay tuned for a prediction on where he'll end up. Because I know everyone is just hanging on my every word. You love me.
Cleveland Cavaliers (61-21) :
Can offer him the most money out of any team due to holding his Bird rights.
He grew up near Cleveland and without a doubt feels some loyalty to the team and city.
As bad as their last few playoff series have gone, they still have put together winning teams.
New York Knicks (29-53) :
Can offer more advertising money than the other teams (most likely).
Can offer two players max deals.
He gets to play in D'Antoni's offense (also not a good thing since D'Antoni doesn't stress defense).
He would be the biggest sports star in the world.
Chicago Bulls (41-41) :
Are a very good young team.
Can pick his next coach.
They can offer him a max contract as well.
The chance to upstage the legend of Michael Jordan.
New Jersey (read: Brooklyn) Nets (who cares, they sucked) :
Have good pieces in Harris and Lopez.
Will have a high draft pick.
Can pick his own coach.
Can offer two players max contracts.
Have a crazy rich Russian owner who would probably knee cap any competition in the conference.
There are some other crazy ideas about him landing in Dallas or some other city that obviously isn't going to get him. But that's just crazy talk. Where does he go then? I don't think the salary will end up deciding a lot since the options besides Cleveland can all offer substantial advertising money. I think it will come down to 1) prospect of winning, 2) how much control he is given, and 3) loyalty. If he is strongly loyal, he will go back to Cleveland. If not he's gone. There's no reason to stay there otherwise since he has just as good of a chance to win in Chicago or even New Jersey (likely to get the #1 pick).
In the end I think he winds up in New York as a Knick. It's what I would do. Then again I haven't lived like a king for the past 7 years so maybe it's not that much of a jump. But maybe, just maybe, the strippers go all the way in New York and don't sue. That's as good a reason as any.