LeBron – Cleveland or… New Jersey?

LeBron James should go to the New Jersey Nets, IF he leaves Cleveland, which he should not –


But if he does leave Cleveland the New Jersey Nets should get LeBron (sorry Knick fans).  Here is why:

It's a bird, it's a plane - it's a New Jersey Net!

1) Unlike the Chicago Bulls, the Nets have no real star legacy (i.e. identifiable with one star), whereas the Bulls have the most identifiable star in team sports.  The six titles and the shadow of Jordan would almost guarantee that LeBron would have to settle for second best for his own team, regardless of how well he plays and how many titles his teams win, assuming he only wins 2 or 3 with Derrick Rose & Co. 

Furthermore the Nets will be moving to Brooklyn, which will make him the equivalent of a Founding Father to the fracnhise.  And he’s friends with the minority owner (in percentage and race) Jay-Z.  But so is A-Rod so it can’t be that cool (I like A Rod, but I think he is a loser, not in the title winning sense, but just in a “dude, you are kind of a loser,” way).

The King of Hip Hop and the King of Basketball. Do you have to have a busted mug to be a King?

2) The Nets new owner – Mikhail Prokhorov.  He is a Russian billionaire who will spare no expense.  Now there is a chance that the lap of luxury could create a team of coddled, lazy players who have the killer instinct Play Stationed and massaged out of them (if they ever had it) like Mark Cuban has with the Dallas Mavericks, but if he is willing to pay up to bring in top talent then it won’t really matter.  The Nets have the most cap room coming in to this new season (even more than the Knicks) and they have an owner who will not care about going over the salary cap if it means winning and creating a successful brand (and the Russian models and prostitutes on his private plane don’t like losers either).  So they have enough money to bring in another superstar to entice LeBron and still give LeBron max money.

3) Evan Turner – the Nets will probably draft Evan Turner, who most people think is the next Brandon Roy.  They may take John Wall, but they already have Devon Harris, who when healthy is an all-star level player at point guard.  That gives LeBron a much better backcourt than he has ever had in Cleveland.

4) Devon Harris and Brook Lopez.  Brook Lopez is already a top 5 center in the NBA at 21 years old.  Devon Harris (see above).  So before any free agents are even signed the Nets could potentially offer LeBron a point guard, a center and a shooting guard who have been or could be all be all stars in a couple of seasons. 

5) Free agents.  The tricky part here is convincing a power forward to sign before LeBron signs, I think the Nets should make a big push for Chris Bosh (not sure if LeBron would want to play with Carlos Boozer given that he left town stabbing a blind man in the back and could have probably helped LeBron win a title in 2007).  If you are Chris Bosh, why not?  You still get to play with several very good players in the NYC area, which has to beat playing with several mediocre players in Toronto.

If winning matters to LeBron, as he says it does, how could a team built to win and only requiring LeBron at the small forward not be the most obvious place for him?  A starting lineup all under 30 all star level talent?  No weakness at any position.  I don’t think any other team will be in a position to give LeBron a better chance at a title than the Nets. 

That said, if he leaves Cleveland there is something dick-ish about him.  But it would be forgiven because at least he would anger the thousands of slumbering Knick fans who are waiting to resume talking sh*t after a decade if he went to the Nets.

I hope not.

Next week I will get back to less sports centric- themes.  Have a nice weekend.