Best player on the planet keeps NBA fans everywhere playing a guessing game.
So confident that all the hand-wringing and hopeful thinking about LeBron’s return to Cleveland are a waste of time, he’s vowed to put on a pink suit and platform shoes, buy a Jheri curl wig and stroll the streets near Quicken Loans Arena if LeBron does return.
I would love to see this sight, because a big man in a pink suit and Jheri curls conjures memories of the ’70s and Rick James, and who can’t get behind the persona that earned the “King of Funk” his infamy?
LeBron James makes a different kind of music, and he’s a solo act that is surely a headliner: the biggest name in his game. And what LeBron does, well … he forces people to take heed. People are, too.
With America’s interest in the World Cup having lessened, LeBron is the biggest sports story these days. Hoops fans are wondering where he will cast his lot this time.
Keeping a lower profile than the one he had the first time he jumped into free agency, LeBron is making the circuit of teams that interest him, and by all accounts, he has the Cavaliers on his list. Yet so are Dallas, Phoenix, Houston and Miami, so is LeBron going to leave the other two members of the Heat’s Big Three to fend for themselves?
One thing we learned from four years ago is LeBron keeps his own counsel. Much of what we heard back then proved pure speculation, which gobbled up hours on talk shows and on ESPN.
All were obsessed with LeBron. They still are.
The public’s obsession with LeBron is understandable. He’s the finest player on the planet, and people can make an argument — and they have — that he’s the finest NBA player ever. Sorry, Michael Jordan.
Realizing that fact, fans know wherever LeBron lands will ensure a better team than they had before he came. He can take a lottery team like the Cavs and turn it into a contender.
With Kyrie Irving and Andrew Wiggins, the Cavs have some young pieces that should complement an experienced star like LeBron. But can those young pieces and LeBron take the Cavs to an NBA title next season?
No, and that’s what makes the talk about LeBron and the Cavaliers seem like just a warm, fuzzy story with no grounding in reality.
Talk is cheap in the sports world, and absent a pipeline into LeBron’s thinking, talk is even cheaper when it comes to figuring out what the brightest name in the league will do next.
Perhaps he will come home. Just maybe LeBron does regret how he broke a city’s heart in the cavalier way he left. Then again, LeBron might just look at what he did years earlier as purely business, and the business of sports can often be butt-ugly.
But LeBron has made it clear that his business is no one else’s business, so expecting insider information into his thinking makes no sense. Nobody knows what he’ll do next, and any discussion of what he will do is mere filler for print, online and broadcast media.
In a couple of days, LeBron will tell the world his decision, absent the crassness that he showed when he announced in 2010 that he was joining Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade in Miami. By week’s end, the Cavaliers should know if LeBron has remorse in his heart, though my friend, the radio personality, doubts it is.
So he’s not worried about having to put on platform shoes like Rick James, because my friend doesn’t see the more famous James wearing a Cavaliers uniform again.
I’m not certain my friend is wrong, because sometimes a man like LeBron James doesn’t need to come home again.
The opinions expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of BET Networks.
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(Photo: J Pat Carter/AP Photo)