LeBron’s Future and Cleveland’s Issues


EPSN is currently fitting a life-size LeBron James cut-out with the Bulls, Knicks, Heat, and Clippers No. 6 jerseys, and headbands, to see which looks and fits the best.  And every expert is pointing to his exit.

Can we say “Over Reaction”?

You always hear people saying that when someone makes you angry or does you wrong, instead of blowing up in the moment; take a breath, walk away and write a letter articulating your feelings and then never send it.  It is a way to get those feels off your chest, but then you don’t put yourself in a situation where you might say something that you don’t mean or could hurt you in the long term.

I understand that people are trying to stay on the hot topic, but LeBron has not made a decision about his future.  If he was unsure before this game, he should still be unsure.  And if he let tonight and this series sway him to leave, he is a fool.

A team’s weaknesses can be justified under a amazing player’s personality and a 61-win season.  But the major weakness for me is the Cavaliers head coach, Mike Brown.

Brown seems to lack the offensive savvy to find ways to score other than letting LeBron isolate, and that can not work every time.  Remember, Michael Jordan put-up good numbers before Phil Jackson became the head coach and implemented Tex Winter’s triangle offense, but Jordan did not win.

The Cavs shouldn’t completely change their offense, but come on, I have seen high school teams with more complicated offensive schemes then what Brown runs in Cleveland.  Brown is a good coach, he might even be a very good defensive coach, but a truly great coach can find ways to maximize a players strength and find ways around their weaknesses – this applies to the whole team.  And Brown has not done that.  Even LeBron’s defensive improvements are credited more to his time playing with Kobe on team USA, than to Coach Brown.

There are other issues that came to forefront during this series, but what I struggle with most is the Brown’s inability to find a line-up that could take advantage of their speed and athleticism.  Case and point; the last two games – both loses – we saw a lot of Shaq and Zydrunas Ilgauskas, and none of J.J. Hickson.  I do not understand that.  I know coaches shorten their benches and rely on starters more in the  playoffs, but Hickson played a valuable role during the regular season.  Hickson was able to get easy buckets, provided energy off the bench, and was the most athletic “big-man” on the roster.  Hickson’s playing time went from 21 minutes a game in the regular season to only 8 minutes in the post season.

The story is going to be more about LeBron’s future and the decision that will take place around July 1st, than Cleveland’s weaknesses and a coaches inability to maximize the talents of the NBA’s best player.  That said, I would be surprised if Brown is back as head coach.  The LeBron saga is also going to over shadow the remarkable resurgence of a healthy Boston team and it’s new leader, Rajon Rondo.

What do I think LeBron should do? I think he should stay in Ohio.  I do not buy that LeBron could do “so much more” in New York.  The Knick’s roster is not good, and while they can sign another max-level player to play along side James, the Knick’s lack draft and can you name a Knick starter that is better than a starter in Cleveland?  Maybe David Lee, but he probably wouldn’t be resigned.  So what else is there?

I do get the idea of playing in Chicago with Rose and Noah or in Miami with DWade.  Or even going to LA to be a Clipper and play with a pretty decent roster.  LA would be the new basketball Mecca.  But even if LeBron wins in those cities, he would not be “the first to do it”.  He would just follow in the footsteps of someone who has already done it.  If he stays in Cleveland and wins just won title, he is a legend, breaks a curse, and cements himself as the greatest player in Cav’s history.  That can not be said if he goes to Chicago and there would be debates in Miami.

Also, the idea that LeBron could “grow his brand” more in NYC is stupid.  He is doing enough business as it is.  And that will continue.  LeBron is huge no matter where he goes.

Looking forward. I am pretty pumped for the conference finals.  I am pulling for the Suns and the Magic.  No predictions from me – I am not that stupid.  Take a look, every EPSN expert picked the Cavs to beat the Celtics. Opps.