"Never trust any professional athlete in a Cleveland jersey."
On Thursday night, the Celtics not only beat the Cavs, but also helped in the Cavs firing their coach, made Shaq an inevitable free agent, and all but certainly sealed the deal on LeBron leaving this summer. It wasn't just the lost that was sad, but the lack of hustle- I mean the last shot attempt of the year for Cleveland was an Anderson Varejao three pointer. With 30 seconds left LeBron and his teammates were already untucking their jerseys. With a minute left and down by seven or eight, unlikely for a comeback but manageable especially with the MVP on your team, Cleveland chose not to foul. This with Rajon Rondo being Shaq-like from the free throw line.
But now ESPN gets to start up its "Countdown to LeBron Free Agency" counter on its website. Since when did Chicago become a front runner for him? In all do respect, Chicago is not the market for a player like LeBron. If he wants the midwest market, why leave Cleveland. And you know he wouldn't want to get booed by the team that drafted him number one overall when he enters the Q twice every season. This rules out Chicago.
But then there is the New York/New Jersey question. The Knicks have David Lee, Madison Square Garden, Spike Lee, a large market, and a 2-3 year rebuilding plan. New Jersey has a billion owner and the number one pick...and the list stops there. Unless you would like to count Mike "The Situation". So that rules out NY/NJ.
So the last plausible place for LeBron other than Lake Erie is Los Angeles, as Mike Wilbon wrote last year. "Kobe and LeBron on the same team, you must be crazy?" No, not the Lakers. The other team in the building that outdrew the Lakers many a night during the years Kobe was in Shaq withdrawal. The Clips already have a scoring point guard who is much more of a star player than Mo Williams ever will be in Baron Davis. They also have young players like Eric Gordon. And an underrated center in Chris Kaman. Los Angeles would also yield the second biggest market in the league and countless ad spots featuring Kobe vs. LeBron. Just think, the two biggest stars of the game playing home games in the same building. When has that ever happened?
BONUS: The Chinese market- with Yao Ming getting hurt and his former mate Tracy McGrady missing 180 dunks, LeBron could take over the East Asia market. He did once say he wants to be the first sports billionaire.
Lakers over Celtics in 6