Photo Credit: Clutch Sports
Over the past few weeks on social media, around the various sports talk shows, and even here in the kitchen, the conversation has been centered around this comment that LeBron James made stating the “door was open” for him to return to the Cleveland Cavaliers. With LeBron’s current contract set to expire at the end of next year and his son set to graduate in 2023 speculation is that should his son, Bronny James, get drafted somewhere that LeBron would pick that city as his new team.
There are those that say LeBron’s legacy would take a significant hit should he opt to leave Los Angeles, my question is why?! Is he a malcontent? Nope, he’s not. Is he causing problems in the locker room and with the front office? Nope, he’s not. Well is he going to the media and bashing teammates and subtweeting at people? Nope, he’s not. So why, exactly would he be looked at differently?
The term used by the masses is that LeBron James is “Ring Chasing” for championships. The “purist” NBA fans say “That’s not the way Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, Tim Duncan, Kobe Bryant, or Bill Russell did it.” So it can’t be the right way (meaning going from team to team) I take exception to that mind set. And there are others out there like me feel the same way. The whole point of this game is to WIN CHAMPIONSHIPS. LeBron and others have figured out a way to get that done. For as much as I hated watching Kevin Durant jump on the coat tails of Steph and the join the Warriors he did it in a way that was well within is right to do so.
Photo Credit: GettyImages
We, as a sports culture, have to divorce ourselves from this “loyalty” mindset. You honor your obligations and do the best you can where you’re at. Should you have the opportunity to either make more money, put yourself and family in a better position, or team up with someone else to get a Championship, you have to at least explore that be ready to make a move. These players don't really owe us an explanation, or reason for the decisions. How dare us jump on our platforms and drag them for doing something that we do in our everyday lives?! Does it suck when we lose our favorite player?! No doubt, but as long as the person leaves correctly t's all good. To throw shade at a person for playing by the rules that are currently set in place leaves me wondering is your problem with the player or you as the sports fan not liking the decision that was made.
Photo Credit: GettyImages
"What's correctly", you might be asking me. To leave a team correctly one of these HAS to take place....
Your contract is up: You've fulfilled your obligation to the team and have chosen to explore your options.
You're traded: Either you request a trade or your team trades you.
Buyout: You and the team reach an agreement to let you out of your current deal thus making you a free agent to sign where you'd like.