Wednesday, 14 July 2010

'The Decision'

While football fans had their eyes firmly fixed on the Rainbow nation, there has been a story competing, successfully, for attention of the sporting world across the Atlantic. It was what became known simply as 'The Decision'. This was the media circus that followed the reigning NBA MVP, Lebron James, in his decision of which team to sign his new contract with.

James had spent his entire NBA career at the Cleveland Cavaliers but was one of a number of stars who had run out of contract at the end of the recently concluded season. The rumour mills went into overdrive as nearly all of the NBA franchises were linked with the biggest name currently in the sport. Lebron 'The Phenom' James announced which club he was to pledge his future to in an hour long special, 'The Decision'.

His choice was always going to have a massive impact upon the shape of the league for the coming years but probably not to the extent that it now looks likely to have. Lebron signed for the Miami Heat but he was not the only NBA All-Star to do so. James joined the former Toronto Raptors forward Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade, who re-signed for the Heat.

The combination of James, Bosh and Wade makes Miami the 'Galacticos' of the NBA. Each of the three superstars talked about the appeal of winning multiple Championships as being the reasoning behind their decision. Most NBA franchises build their team around a key player, few have a player as good as any of the three the Heat now have on their roster. To have three of the elite stars in the sport could make the Heat the dominant force in the league for the foreseeable future.

Sacrifices will have to be made, however. Sharing the spotlight on and off the court will be something very new to each of the players. Their playing style will have to be adapted to fit this new team and their ability to become 'team players' will be tested to the full. How well these individuals can form a successful team will only be seen through time but anything less than a Championship this year will certainly be deemed a failure.

NBA commissioner David Stern recently expressed his view on 'The Decision', which I would largely agree with. Lebron James played into the hands of the media by delaying his choice for so long. The free-agent window opened at the start of the month and this year there was a particularly rich field of players who were out of contract. By leaving his decision so late and thus not informing the Cavaliers that he was not going to be returning to them he put them at a distinct disadvantage in their attempts to find a replacement for their MVP.

The Cavs now have a massive amount of room remaining in their salary cap and an even bigger gap left in their roster. Other stars had already been snapped up while the Cavaliers were left hoping that their most precious asset would remain with them. James did not need to state which team he was to sign for but merely declare that he would not be remaining in Cleveland so they could prepare for a future without him.

Lebron was fully entitled to leave his home-town team. Cleveland have finished top the Eastern Conference for the last two years but in both years have failed to go on and enjoy any success in the Playoffs. James' motive was unquestionably to win titles and his decision was the best suited to that end. The manner in which he went about it, however, only suited the media frenzy that surrounded the ordeal.

It is a story that will have gone unnoticed by many. Its importance, however, ought not to be underplayed. The result of 'The Decision' will have a greater impact on the NBA than all the transfers made by all other English clubs this summer will have on the Premiership.

Thoughts, comments and opinions please...


  1. shit the bed I wonder whose going to win the playoffs next season then!

  2. The 2010/11 NBA season certainly looks entertaining. It will be interesting to see how these 3 massive personalities/Ego's work together, not so long ago at the 2004 Olympics, a team of US Allstars finished a below par 3rd. Despite having the best players in the world they struggled to play as a team, I hope the Heat don't go own the same route.

    Lastly the predicament Lebron has left the Cavs in is terrible. Like you say Dom, why leave it so late to decide, all he has done is become a figure of hate in his hometown, and arguably tarnished his reputation. Although it is almost impossible to conceive i would love to see the Cavs beat this new look Heat team in the coming season.

  3. I would not go as far as to say he is 'a figure of hate' back in Cleveland but his treatment of the Cavs certainly wont have done him any favours. I agree though, seeing the Cavaliers beat the Heat next season would be very funny.

    Balancing Bosh and James with Wade in Miami will be a big challenge and the example of the 2004 US Olympic team is a very good one. The Heat would do well to take a look at the success of the 'Big Three' in Boston. The Celtics have been so successful in recent years because Pierce, Allen and Garnett (and Rondo) put the success of the team first. The Heat's own 'Big Three' need to mirror this attitude if they are to dominate the league.

    This is something I ought to have put in the original post. Here is how many points each of the bif three averaged last season:
    Wade - 33.2
    Bosh - 24.4
    James - 29.8
    Needless to say this will have to change. The players wont be able to record double-doubles or trible-doubles as often. James is one of, if not the, best passer the NBA has ever seen. I expect to see get into double figures for assists in games on a regular basis with the scorers he has around him. What will be key is that they use their different weapons, whether it be Bosh's inside game, Wade's ability to get to the basket or James' playmaking, accordingly depending on the defence they face. Each of the three are intelligent enough players who are so hungry to win that I, like Elliot, am confident they will iwn the NBA Champs next season.

  4. Apparently the fans are a lot more understanding towards Lebron James than any other deserter. The main thing I've been looking forward to is Coach Karl is back for the nuggets! No other teams than celtics and nuggets have pressured lakers so much in the past couple of seasons and I'm hoping they ace it this season coming! About the way the team works, if you look at the olympics and the all star game, Wade gives assists to James and Bosh can pick up a lot of mess on the way, I think they will work well together but it will take more to win championships I believe...


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