Blogtable: Thoughts on LeBron?

Each week, we’ll ask our stable of scribes across the globe to weigh in on the most important NBA topics of the day — and then give you a chance to step on the scale, too, in the comments below.


BLOGTABLE: Free agency winners & losers | Thoughts on LeBron | Lakers’ coaching search



VIDEO: Cavs GM David Griffin talks about LeBron James’ return to Cleveland

> It’s been five days since LeBron James shook the NBA with his latest decision. What are your last thoughts on his move and its effect on the NBA?

Steve Aschburner, NBA.com: Even commissioner Adam Silver said he was “moved” by James’ homecoming essay. That’s great, and because of it, I trust the two-year term of his Cavs contract is solely about signing a fresher, bigger one in 2016 – he cannot leave Cleveland again that quickly and have a shred of credibility left. But I think this was about basketball more than James let on, because the Cavs have a budding supporting cast on the fast track now. Impact on the NBA? We’re back to a “tandem” rather than “trio” world again, as far as superstars congregating. With 30 needy teams, spreading the firepower thinner is a good thing.

Fran Blinebury, NBA.com: The two-year contract he signed in Cleveland with an out next summer could have the longest-lasting effect. It signals that he’s playing year-to-year from now on and it could be the first step toward the elimination of max contract ceilings in the next collective bargaining agreement.

Jeff Caplan, NBA.com: He definitely took the sentimental approach over the business approach in terms of picking a team. He took the business approach in terms of structuring a two-year contract in which he can opt out after NEXT season. Now, the thinking on this is to maximize his salary as the salary cap increases with each season, and perhaps by leaps and bounds once the league’s new TV deals are secured. But if James hesitates at all to re-sign with the Cavs, his talk about coming home for all the reasons he listed will be hot air. The effect on the league is that now Cleveland holds the ace and not Miami. Veterans seeking a ring will be drawn to the Rust Belt instead of South Beach.

Scott Howard-Cooper, NBA.com: That there can’t be any last thoughts yet. James’ decision could still have a ripple effect, with players who previously might not have been interested in signing for less to join the Cavs now more open to the possibility. Kevin Love wouldn’t have sent Cleveland a signal before that he would be very interested in staying as a free agent next summer. The presence of LeBron changes that.

John Schuhmann, NBA.com: The reason I was surprised LeBron left Cleveland in 2010 is the same reason I wasn’t surprised he returned in 2014. He’s a loyal dude. Akron and his friends and family from Akron/Cleveland have always been close to his heart. He knows that he needs more than one more championship to get in Michael Jordan territory, but he also knows that Cleveland hasn’t won a championship in 50 years. To bring a title to that city would mean more (to him and to the people he cares about) than winning two or three more somewhere else.

Sekou Smith, NBA.com: In retrospect, and after reading LeBron’s own words, his return to Cleveland should not come as a surprise to anyone. It’s clear that even while he was taking the Miami Heat to The Finals year after year, his heart was actually somewhere else. Northeast Ohio in particular. It’s a game-changer for the league, no doubt. The Cavaliers go from afterthought to an Eastern Conference contender with LeBron’s return. In fact, the impact his homecoming will have cannot be quantified in any traditional manner. Just by returning to Cleveland, this guy is going to lift the spirits of an entire fan base, region and, really, a state. I lived in Cleveland (for a short 14-week stint) when LeBron was still in elementary school. And I’ve had family there my entire life, so I know how serious they take their sports teams and heroes. They’ve never had anyone like LeBron, homegrown, to latch on to. So to lose him four years ago in dramatic fashion only to see him win it all twice in Miami, their joy in getting him back now cannot accurately be displayed in words. If he actually comes home and wins a title, brace yourself for absolute pandemonium.

Lang Whitaker, NBA.com’s All Ball blog: It makes the East much more competitive from top to bottom. There isn’t that same excellence in the top teams as in the West, but it makes it much harder to delineate the best teams in the conference. I wouldn’t be surprised if Chicago, Indiana, Cleveland, Toronto or Washington won the Conference, with Atlanta, Brooklyn, Miami and Charlotte in the mix as well. LeBron returning home is a nice narrative, but that doesn’t give Cleveland a rim protector or a coach proven in the NBA just yet.

50 Comments

  1. jbl says:

    going back to cavs will not give floppy james a ring! he should join the spurs to prove hia really a baller!!naahhh!!!poor cavs team, no championship nor a playoffs appearance again..

  2. kobefanjay says:

    the brutal truth about why lebron chose cleveland is he saw the spurs and their chemistry and energy and new they would be back or whoever beats the spurs would be too much for miami even if they made it for a 5th year in a row to the finals. he knows cleveland wont be ready for a few years so he avoids losing in the finals again. if he made it back with miami and lost again his reputation would be ruined…it almost already is if the spurs wasnt such an extraordinary story…he’s lucky the heat went on that regular season win streak 2 years ago or his legacy would really be in question. I believe lebron is really a karl malone or barkley etc. he doesnt have what it takes to get his team the ring…Wade has that quality so Lebron went there and disguised himself…no championship in cleveland…sorry

  3. lacarious says:

    ” he cannot leave Cleveland again that quickly and have a shred of credibility left.”

    yes he can…. that’s the great thing about freedom of choice, don’t knock it, chumps.

    • Vegashflr says:

      Only , comment since when did any sports with teams change where one man is the team.
      Just curious? I hope he has changed from King to all to gether player.

  4. Big 3 Heat says:

    I have always been a huge heat fan. It is a shame to see him leave but Cleveland is his home. In his letter to Sports Illustrated he made it clear that the big reason is because it is his home. As much as I wish he would have stayed, I can’t blame him. The Heat will still have a good team without him, but it will never be the same. I’m just happy and proud that he chose the Miami Heat for four great years. I will never forget the last four great years. Thanks for the memories Lebron.

    Lebron James: Miami Heat – 2 Championships, 2 MVPS, 4 Consecutive Final Appearances, And A Lot Of Great Memories

    • TTKIN says:

      Nice that ur at least respectful about it. Ive seen Heat fans all over the internet since he decided to leave blasting him as a “loser”, and couldn’t finish blah blah. At least u respect that he lead u guys to multiple titles. That’s how it should be.

  5. fanofthegame says:

    I am a #heat4lifer and I am extremely sorry to see Lebron Go but ultimately it’s his decision! Always has been. AND let’s not forget it’s a job. When people decide to quit a job it’s usually a decision where several factors are considered-family, money, location, and all the emotional things that come with that. I don’t fault anyone taking all of that into consideration when making a decision. Haters are wayyy to invested in dogging this man for a career decision made in 2010 and in his work decision he made some days ago. Consider your own life…….and how you make decisions that will have long term effects on your family. So far, I am happy that the Heat organization is trying to rebuild after a huge loss in Lebron. Life goes on, and we want to continue to compete. With a healthy D-Wade, Bosh, Birdman, Napier, Roberts, UD, Granger, Chalmers, etc…….as long as he synergy is good, I think we can compete! I wish Bron nothing but the best!

  6. edsu says:

    i used to hate him when he jumped ship to miami four years ago but his recent decision to be back where his heart really belongs is something that is very admirable. i am now a cavs fan convert and i will be closely watching all lebrons games and performances….i am very happy with the developments

  7. Andrew says:

    What happen to the BIG talk during his unveiling with Bosh and Wade in front of Heats’fans. “Not one, not 2, not 3, not 4,…. Not 7!!!” He is probably better than MJ, but he is not a man of his words. Heats and esp Cavs’ fans shouldn’t trust this guy.

  8. LBJ D' GOAT? says:

    If Lebron loves Cavs and ohio, he should have not left in the first place.

    Choosing Cavs is a win-win situation for LeBron especially with the 2 years contract.
    He still gets 20 million.
    If it fails with the Cavs, he can leave again after 2 years and search for more talented young team.
    He can get more money either way the Cavs will succeed or fail, or he will stay or leave after the new TV deal.
    Choosing a young talented team is very important because he will have a chance to win more rings even he becomes old and even he won’t be the main man of the team. For his “legacy”. Mt. Rushmore?
    He can get 1 or 2 things from other teams but won’t get all of the above and by choosing cavs people will be softer on him even symphatize in leaving miami.

    Lebron’s decisions are always about business, money, hype.
    It’s just basketball as he pointed out
    I don’t blame him though. It’s his previledge and right.

    But he won’t make it to my Mt. Rushmore.

  9. This Cavs team has LeBron James but you need more pieces! I am very interested to see how the starting five will be like. Who will play where, where will Wiggins be used? It’s going to be interesting to see who handles the ball the most. Will LeBron or Kyrie be able to play and thrive without the ball? Can’t wait for some basketball!

  10. harrythehawk says:

    For me, I hated the Heat (still do), so even though I respected Lebron James, I couldn’t tune in much unless it was the playoffs. Now that he is back with the Cavaliers, I find him, and Cleveland VERY appealing. By no means am I a Cleveland fan, but I will be one of many watching their game day opener! Can’t wait!

  11. Matt Brown says:

    LA Baron went home because that’s where his heart is. He had to leave Cleavland because they were not a well managed organization. He will be happy to be in contention and the topic of conversation each year in the league. From my prespespective there is no winning tradition in Cleavland. LaBron will have the burden of developing that not only in the locker room but also in the front office. Some said that he put Miami team on his back last year in the Championship series. However he is now willing to put the entire Cleavland organization on his back to win a title. Good luck !!!

  12. the cuban -miamian connection says:

    I am a HEAT fan , and I want them to win again…But other than that? : CAVS champions for years to com

    Felicidades OHIO

    Thanks LBJ,,,,,,the GOAT!

  13. Matt Brown says:

    LA Baron went hone because that’s where his heart is. He had to leave Cleavland because they were not a well managed organization. He will be happy to be in contention and the topic of conversation each year in the league. From my prespespective there is no winning tradition in Cleavland. LaBron will have the burden of developing that not only in the locker room but also in the front office. Some said that he put Miami team on his back last year in the Championship series. However he is now willing to put the entire Cleavland organization on his back to win a title. Good luck !!!

  14. squala96 says:

    Cleveland doesn’t deserve LeBron after what they did to him. They acted as if they owned him. They don’t seem to understand the meaning of free agent back in 2010. But they’re awfully lucky that James is all heart. While he was out winning championships, his former team was in tatters, not making a single playoff since he left. He seemed to have made the move to mend the damage he allegedly did.

  15. Willy MIA says:

    So LeBron left. That’s cool. Im a heat fan for life and with or without LeBron I Think we can still win a championship. But meanwhile LeBron is in Cleveland he wont wont get to experience that feeling again. That feeling of a being a champion. All I can say is good luck in Cleveland and thank you for those 4 years that you sent us to the finals and the two championships you got for us.

  16. jim says:

    Pack up heat fans time to go home lol

  17. Mart says:

    Really can’t believe how you can fall for The Liitle House on The Praire story. LeRun left because he run’s from pressure.,He will run again when if his teammates don’t hold up, injury or whatever. He basically lowered the bar for himself, stating ” I only want to win one for NE Ohio. He couldn’t even look Pat Riley in the face to tell him his choice . Maybe one day this kid becomes a man, right now he is sports Biggest DIVA ever.

  18. Just sayin! says:

    Spurs give lebron and the heat a beating of a lifetime! Most lopsided finals in history! He knows cleaveland has a bright future than the heat! And heat cannot win against the spurs! Spurs should have been back to back chamsp!

  19. JKW says:

    Gilbert is a bully. . . taking the disgusting letter ~(he was fined for) down AFTER leaving it up 4 years when he knew LaBron was coming back. . . acting like he did when LaBron left the team (LaBron didn’t do what Gilbert thought he “should” do). I think Gilbert should not be allowed to ‘teach’ children it’s OK to be a bully when you don’t get your way in situations. Bullying needs to be recognized and dealt with . . . not allowed to be revered, especially in a setting like this. Doesn’t say much for the team’s owners. I can’t imagine why he was allowed to act like that in the first place (allowing the letter to stay up on the website) and to continue as a coach. I guess we know what Cleveland is about.

  20. steve says:

    But you Miami fans didn’t dis him as a person when he got on national tv and said he was bailing on cleveland for miami? The Miami fan base is a sad one. I went to game 4 of the 2014 ECF in Miami and it was rarely loud and the stadium had empty seats at the start. Miami fans are front runners and don’t deserve the talent of James Wade or Bosh.

  21. Michael says:

    Whatever he does in life, its his life. and you cant do a thing about it.

  22. Patty says:

    Lebron is a BIG PHONY! Lebron James went back to Cleveland for a PR STUNT.

    BEING IN CLEVELAND WOULD MAKE PEOPLE LIKE HIM MORE AND BUY HIS SNEAKERS AND OTHER ITEMS WITH HIS NAME ON IT.

    PEOPLE DIDNOT LIKE LEBRON JAMES WHEN HE LEFT CLEVELAND TO GO TO MIAMI!

  23. Reload says:

    Stop please.. There are some fans from other county than USA. And this fans are no fans of citties but players. Like myself. I am Lebron fan no heat fan. I am Westbrook fan. No OKC fan. I like some players more than others and i like some teams more than others. Am I bandwagoner ?? I dont thinks so.

    • Keepinitreal says:

      I could not agree more. I have been telling people before LeBron Cleveland, which I live nearby, That I am a LeBron James fan and will cheer for him wherever he goes. In basketball you can be a fan of an indivdual player and cheer for the team just because you like that individual player. Enough said

  24. Scott says:

    Winning is fun, but I still enjoy watching guys compete even if they lose. I enjoy seeing Anderson Varejao or Matthew Dellavedova give 110%. That’s what Cleveland basketball is – blue collar.

  25. Cleveland has to be ecstatic but the pressure is on now. The coaching staff has to prepare to win with the best player in the world while getting this young team ready to compete at a high level.

    Wiggins I think will play a great 3-and-D role and Bennett great on the pick and pop PF role while hitting the boards hard. Anderson Verejao and Triston Thompson must hold down the interior defense and rebounding and Kyrie will have to start playing defense and have better shot selection. With James though, falling in line should be just fine as everyone’s career is about to get a major boost. Who knows even Brendan Haywood might even revitalize his career looking good next to James.

  26. jdub455 says:

    nah! although it was nice to be back where the KING belongs, actually he just left bec. Dwade is no longer Flash… and Miami aint gonna let him go… so nice move by Bron to go to the fresher but inexperience Cavs… I wont be surprise if they top the east in the season, however in the playoffs, i’m still with the HEAT… Champion though will be a team in the West. Injury aside, i’m rooting for the Mavs

  27. joe says:

    I’ve been watching the cavs since Danny Ferry. I never miss a game on tv whether lbj was in CLE or not. LBJ back to CLE is a big win for those die hard cavs fans, who watched the games religiously whether the small forward on the court was Chris Mills, Lamond Murray, Alonzo Gee or LBJ.

  28. Andy Johansen says:

    Say what you want about the guy, but he is going to lead Cleveland to the promised land. % NBA Finals in 11 seasons in the league, and now he’s surrounded by young talent, unlike his last stint with the Cavs. Cleveland has to be the favorite to win the Eastern Conference this season: http://straighthoops.com/beast_of_the_east.html

  29. Milt718 says:

    Stop hating on lebron why you making a big deal about you heat fans were taliking wen he left the cavs

  30. Heat BB Fan says:

    NOW LeBron goes after James Jones???

  31. Heat BB Fan says:

    The letter was a marketing tool, sorry…… one thing he should have done was thank the fans, he didn’t = FAIL

    Lets all remember LeBron was bashed and nick named “LeChoke” after the loss to Dallas, and he no show in the Finals. The Heat Fans supported him.

    LeBron couldn’t win on his own in the 7 years with the Cavs, he didn’t win in Miami on his own, it was a TEAM effort.

    Funny all the talk about “bandwagon fans” and “loyal cavs fans” yet there was a ton of available season tickets that took 8 hours to sell out…. new bandwagon cav fans???

    All the talk of how many twitter followers were lost for the Heat, what about the increase to the Cavs… bandwagoners??? Oh and how about the people who unfollowed LeBron? Oh wait, that won’t show…. bandwagoners jumped on.

    Heat will survive…. and Karma is a ………….

    • Precious says:

      Heat BB Fan. . you butt hurt or nah?. . . now you feel what the Cavs felt when LBJ left. . and you have a right to be upset as he is the best player in the NBA right now and the Heat just got 75% of their scoreing jacked lol. and I am not a Heat or Cavs fan.

      By the way LBJ did get the Cavs to the finals by his self but as you know basketball is a team sport which is why he came to Miami to win rings but again his team mates got spoiled by him scoreing and being the play maker they didnt show up to help him so he back to the cavs with a young roster.

      The Heat will survive. . . to the NBA lottery. . . lol. . .well maybe 4th or 5th seed this year. . .I’ll give you that.

  32. Erice says:

    Labron left the Miami Heat for one reason personal reasons his wife did not want to deal with him living there playing around with all them female fans and basically forced the move which anyone should understand he rich and famous and living in Miami and totally understandable so much for going home.

    • Carlo says:

      Oh my…!

      Do you mean there are NO WOMEN in Cleveland?

    • #dwade#flash says:

      yes it is personal reason, he is the reason. He already got the ride he wanted, i got mad respect for his abilities but after you milk the coz you just leave him for dead?

      I respect his abilities but as a person and as an individual? i am not sure

    • Heat BB Fan says:

      Actually you are wrong…. his wife loved it here, opened a business here. His Mom also loved it here….

  33. as a cavs fan your dumb,it is all about lebron, when was the last time the cavaliers went to playoff? lebron makes the team lot i mean a lot better, the team will be in playoff for sure cause of lbj. he made Cleveland appeared in the map again. i want you to tell me who is a good player in the cavs roster other than lebron, irving cant play no defend he only play offence, did irving took them to the playoff no right, so there no one to cound on the cavs roster only lebron james ..

  34. prix says:

    They badly needed a strong bench and great coaching staff to be a championship contender…great move by LBJ…this guy have something special…the Heat would still be a great strong team with Wade, Bosh, Deng and Granger with a deep bench as well…Heat is still better than Cavs for now…

    • Saeed says:

      Maybe not better. When LeBron leaved a 61 win Cavs they had only 19 or 18 wins. Last year the Cavs were 33 wins without wiggins who is an athletic defender. Now with LeBron James they surely can win too many games maybe between 50 and 60. In Playoffs, they still need a few non-star veterans

  35. Benjie says:

    I don’t think he will ever win a championship ring without the help of 2 superstar quality player. Best chance he got is to have love.without any extra talent he will be just the pre 2010 lebron.

    • Precious says:

      You don’t need 3 stars to win a championship. . . look at the pistons when they won it all in 2004. . . . . thats why I am glad he went back to the Cavs. . . everybody thinking they need a big three. . . . . . . . the big three was not the big three a lot of the times anyways. . . . . .

  36. Scott says:

    I, too, am excited about LeBron’s return to Cleveland, but as a die-hard Cavs fan it hurts me a little because all this attention seems to be simply rude and disrespectful to the existing team. Yes, they are a better and more popular team with LeBron, but let’s not forget there’s some decent players and guys who gave their all last year. It’s not JUST about LeBron. I don’t think he feels that way so why do all of you? Go Cavs!

    • Carlo says:

      ‘Cause most fans think in terms of positive heroes or negative heroes, for they really don’t understand – and probably don’t care about – basketball technicalities.
      And because media prefer to follow million of ignorant fans than thousands of thoughtful ones. It’s just a matter of numbers.

      That said, as a fan of THE GAME, I’m happy LJ went to CLE for this reshuffled all that stagnating and utterly boring East which in the last two years produced only two top teams (IND, MIA) and only one team (CHI) whose games were watchable because of the heart they put in them.
      Now there’s a little more balance, with about 8 teams (CHI, MIA, CLE, TOR, ATL, CHA, WAS, BRK) likely disputing rankings and seeds.
      I’m just hoping the NBA won’t keep sending here in EU all those Knicks’ games just ’cause there’s ‘Melo in them. Last year they were almost suicide-inducing.

  37. ko0kiE says:

    lang whitaker is right… they need a big who can protect the rim and also finish around the basket. that’s why I think they should not trade for love who is a poor defender (besides rebounding).. if he really wants to come to cleveland, he should wait a year and sign via free agency.