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If there’s oneball, lebron james, lebron james in new york topic that seems to be sparking heated debate in ye olde sports website forums, it’s whether or not LeBron James will opt to stay in Cleveland, where he can make the most money and remain a hometown hero. Or will he take less money in NBA salary to make more money, supposedly, in endorsements and business deals on his way to becoming a billionaire athlete and ‘global icon’?

The debate is furious. New York fans waiting for the resurrection of their franchise, now bolstered by the shrewd, cap-clearing trades of last week, feeling that LeBron has given just enough hints that he wants to play the big stage versus Cleveland fans, nervous Midwesterners, and New York-haters, who feel that he likes Cleveland, cares about the home folks, and doesn’t really need the bright lights and the media glare of New York. 

Of course, the answer lies somewhere in the middle. He likely hasn’t made up his mind yet. He’s still twenty-three, and the decision will probably come down to two things: where’s the best place for him to win multiple championships, and is it truly important to him to be an international celebrity and marketing powerhouse? Perhaps all these factors will change by the time he’s 25.

But that’s way too boring. Better to make the decision now for him. Right?

I hate to say it to the contingent that wants to see him stay home, but all the signs point to New York. A guy who is happy with the comfort of home doesn’t say things like, “I want to be a global icon.” Surely there are musicians from his native Ohio he could be palling around with other than Jay-Z.  He seems too obsessed with fashion, the media spotlight. Tim Duncan wants none of that stuff and happily plays in San Antonio. And there was really ever little doubt that he would leave there as long as he was assured that the team was committed to putting a winning product on the floor.

So I don’t think it’s unreasonable to consider that if he thinks New York can give him the spotlight he wants while at the same time providing him the support he needs to win championships, he would go there. Of course, he can also look at his main man Warren Buffett and see that it’s not impossible to become an influential billionaire Midwest-style.

I wouldn’t bet on it, though. I look at many of the people that I know now who live in New York but didn’t grow up here. A ton of them came from places they loved and appreciated (mostly), but knew that they had a little bit of a thirst for the big stage and possible greatness. That, I think more than anything else is what brought them here. And unfortunately for Cavalier fans, if the Knicks continue to do things right (that’s still debatable), LeBron James may decide, like many young folks, to go for the big stage.

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3 Comments

  1. Detroit, Toronto, Minnesota, Sacramento, Miami and possibly Phoenix/San Antonio could get under the salary cap in 2010 and be able to afford both Lebron and another superstar like (Bosh, Wade, Stat). So why should he go to New York?

  2. Thats Cool…You might be seeing a LeBron James in each of your friends…But doesnt that confuse you???? So many Lebron james together!!!! Visit http://www.sportsviews.com/index.php to know more about this amazing athlete

  3. Travis, honestly, did you read this at all?


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