HARD TO BELIEVE LEBRON RETURNS TO CLEVELAND AFTER THAT DEBACLE

                                                                                       Kallas Remarks by Steve Kallas

It sure seemed like Lebron James would return to Cleveland virtually all year. A legit shot to make the NBA Finals, maybe win it all, would make Lebron want to make his mark in one town, not too far from his hometown of Akron, Ohio. Plus, Lebron just a little over a year ago apparently built his $10 million “dream” house just 45 minutes from where the Cavaliers play their home games.

While these top guys make sick money, one could certainly infer that you’re not going to spend $10 million and leave town in 18 months.

But, hey, you never know.

A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO A TITLE

The Cavaliers seemed to have left the building, at least in their final two losses in their six game series loss at the hands of the (no longer?) aging Celtics. With the emergence of Rajon Rondo as a legitimate star at the point, the Celtics are no longer just the “Big Three.” Indeed, he’s the young “Pied Piper” that is now the glue of the Celtics. That’s not enough, in this writer’s opinion, to get by Orlando.

But it was probably enough to make Lebron get out of town. There was a disconnect with the Cavaliers, between the coaches and the team, between Lebron and his teammates and even, at times, between Lebron and himself. Was he the aggressive Lebron? Sometimes yes and sometimes no. Was he the dominating Lebron? Sometimes yes and sometimes no. Despite his great statistical triple-double in Game 6, was it the great Lebron or the turnover-plagued (nine of them) Lebron? Well, it was both.

Despite his greatness, Lebron needed help and, other than Mo Williams in the first half (20 points – plus two in the second half), there was no help.

Lebron has to be thinking of that when he thinks about the future.

THE CAVALIERS ARE GOING THE WRONG WAY

Maybe history will show that the Cavaliers peaked in 2007 when they made the Finals but were swept by the Spurs. The next year they lost to Boston in the Eastern Conference semi-finals. In 2009, they lost to the up and coming Magic in six in the Eastern Conference Finals. And, of course, they didn’t get that far in 2010, losing in the Eastern Conference semi-finals for the second time in three ears.

That’s called a reverse trend or going the wrong way if you’re keeping score at home. No matter what this team would be projected to do next year with Lebron in the regular season, you can’t project them to win a title off of these last two playoff performances.

Any notion that he would come back (with or without coach Mike Brown who, if he is really not liked by Lebron as reported, will not be there for long), seemed to go out the window in the final minute or so when the Cavaliers wouldn’t even foul to stop the clock and take that one in a 100 shot of getting back in the game. I wouldn’t call that quitting (as some have), but I would be worried about my superstar’s reaction to what certainly looked like not trying to win at the end.

IS DWYANE WADE THE KEY?

An interesting question. Wade has a title. Lebron has nothing like it. If these two team up, anything is possible. Could they co-exist? Are they really good friends? Do their games mesh? Can they get the supporting cast?

Lebron, at a minimum, owes it to himself to have a conversation with Wade. Does Lebron want to be Batman? Will Wade be Robin? Will they need two balls? Great questions all, but the quickest way to the Promised Land for Lebron James would be to team up with Wade.

BUT WHERE?

New York is certainly a possibility. But they have no center and they have no point guard. What they do have, of course, is Madison Square Garden. And even though the luster has been off the Garden for a long time, it’s still the best place to play and, of course, New York is the best city to play in.

Chicago is the latest “hot” Lebron city. With Derrick Rose at the point, that’s a big plus. But why would Lebron really want to go there? He’s not winning six and anything less would put him below Michael Jordan. And, remember, Jordan won nothing without Pippen. And they also had a guy named Dennis Rodman who, whatever you thought of him, was one of the greatest rebounders of all time.

The Nets are the dark horse here, the longshot with a real chance, in this writer’s opinion. If they really are moving to Brooklyn, Lebron could tip the balance of power in New York and In the NBA. With a stellar guard in Devin Harris and a real center in Brook Lopez and (maybe) with John Wall on the horizon, that could be a real opportunity.

Throw in the fact that Lebron could (almost?) pick his coach and Jay Z will help make him the (athletic?) King of New York, the Nets, as funny as it is to write, could actually be a better choice than either of the “leaders,” including the incumbent Cavaliers.

Lebron has a tough choice to make with or without Wade. But it says here that the early favorite (Cleveland) took the status of longshot after their debacle against the Celtics.

© Copyright 2010 by Steve Kallas.  All rights reserved.

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