Friday, July 11, 2014

2014: Not Crazy

Can you ever remember an off-season as crazy as this one? It's a common sentiment, but if you really think about it, it doesn't make an awful lot of sense. What has actually happened? In terms of guys switching teams, the most impactful signing has been Channing Frye going to Orlando. Everyone is waiting for LeBron James to make up his mind and is getting awfully impatient in the process.

That's the thing about this brave new world of social media - everyone has to know everything right away, as soon as it happens. There's just no patience anymore. In essence, Twitter is a giant waiting room and all of the basketball world is sitting in there twiddling their thumbs and endlessly staring at their phones. Can you believe how selfish LeBron is being? Doesn't he know that everyone is waiting for him? We are so eager to know RIGHT NOW that we are willing to jump on any rumor, no matter how dubiously sourced.

My guess is if there was an easy decision to be made, he would have already made it. That's the other thing that is so crazy about this whole situation - this isn't 2010, where LeBron goes isn't really going to swing the balance of power in the NBA. If Miami and Cleveland are the two choices, neither is all that appetizing. If Bosh ends up in Houston with Parsons, Howard and Harden, that's a better team than either the Cavs or the Heat with LeBron. The balance of power in the NBA is out West, no matter what he decides.

The perils of going back to Miami are pretty obvious. We all saw the last Finals, where Wade looked like a broken old man and the Heat just looked plain broken. The Big Three will all be on the wrong side of 30, they have no youth on their roster, not much of a supporting cast and not many options in terms of bringing more talent in. I like Josh McRoberts, but it's hard to see his presence making them favored over either San Antonio or Oklahoma City.

Let's say he goes to Cleveland. If they don't get Kevin Love, they have LeBron and a bunch of young guys who have never been in the playoffs and have a lot of growing up to do. If they get Love, LeBron is on a Big Three with two guys who don't play any defense. You can win championships with players who are only good on one side of the floor, but you have to have exactly the right mix around them. A Cavs team with no rim protection and where only LeBron plays D - that's not exactly the 2011 Heat in terms of putting the fear of God into the rest of the league.

Of course, basketball isn't the only factor in his decision. He has to worry about his family, his friends, his business relationships, his reputation and ultimately his legacy. It's clearly a tough decision and it might take him awhile to figure it out. And that's OK - he doesn't owe us anything. It's his life. If LeBron needs another week to decide, the rest of the league will start to move on. And if not, that's OK too. The season doesn't start until Halloween!

The idea that we have know what is happening exactly right now on July 11 and not July 18 or July 25 is ridiculous. From the perspective of October 31, it will all be the same. Whenever he makes a decision, we'll all talk about it for a few days and then move on to something else. If it keeps dragging on and you're tired of tweeting about it, tweet about something else or don't tweet anything at all. I can guarantee you this - things will happen eventually. Being forced to exercise some patience isn't the worst thing in the world.

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