Where Will LeBron James Play in 2011?

Where will LeBron James play in 2011?  This is the question that will haunt all sports fans for the next month and a half.  And of course, “we will all be witnesses”.  We will wake up the LeBron James news, we will eat lunch in front of LeBron James news, and we will go to bed listening to late night talk show jokes about………..LeBron James news.  But where will he end up?  Hot Read Sports would like to throw our hat in the ring and predict the future home of King James.  Let’s start with the place that has been literally trying to plan for this free agency summer (Summer of LeBron) for what seems like two years now……

New York Knicks- They’ve cleared enough cap room for two potential star free agents.  Let’s face it….New York needs this bad.  Attendance blows and the Knicks haven’t put a winner on the court in ages.  We can’t even remember the last time the Knicks were good.  1999?  That’s way to long to marinate in mediocrity.  So they will make the pitch to LeBron James that they are one of the biggest markets, will sign a superstar to put next to him, and literally sell their soul to get him.  One problem, the biggest selling point (big market) isn’t a factor when LeBron is already HUGE.  You can’t get bigger than LeBron is already.  So I’m thinking that after toying with New York and visiting New York to see what they have to offer (which should create a nice media circus), LeBron will spurn the Knicks and cause a major meltdown on the East Coast.

New Jersey Nets- I’m not sure why we are even covering the Nets, but LeBron does have a relationship with Jay-Z.  The Nets will most likely have the #1 pick in this years draft (if things go as planned).  Which means that they could draft John Wall to run the point position which would ease some of LeBrons on court duties.  The could even trade Devin Harris for a nice player as well to beef up their front court.  The problem here……..The Nets suck.  LeBron would be embarking on a total rebuild.  Can it be done?  Yes.  Will LeBron be patient enough to wait?  Probably not.  The pressure is on LeBron James to win NOW…..not years from now.  Where is that pressure coming from?  Lebron James himself.  The odds are very low on this scenario.

Miami Heat- This is an interesting scenario for sure.  Miami will be looking to sign Dwyane Wade to a long term deal and they may want to pair Wade up with LeBron.  Could this happen?  Yes, but the kicker is that Wade doesn’t necessarily have to stay in Miami.  He’s going to look around too.  So Miami needs to lock down Wade first before they can even turn their attention to LeBron James.  Plus, does LeBron really want to share the limelight with another superstar who has already won a championship?  I don’t think so.  He doesn’t want to look back on his career and hear his critics say “Well LeBron couldn’t do it without Dwyane Wade.”  Same thing that caused the split up of Kobe Bryant and Shaq.  They both wanted to prove they could win a title without the other.  The odds of this scenario are fair, but we don’t see it happening.

Chicago Bulls- This is probably going to be one of the top contenders for LeBron James’ service.  They have a young team that still has room to grow.  Not to mention they have a stud at the point guard position in Derrick Rose.  Much like the Nets scenario above, Rose can take the pressure off of LeBron delivering the basketball.  Also, Chicago is a major market and has the reputation as a winner……thanks to a guy named Michael Jordan.  But that may be just the reason that LeBron stays away from Chicago.  He would have to contend with the legend of Michael Jordan.  What would happen if LeBron didn’t bring a title to Chicago?  He would get compared to Jordan and people would ultimately say “he is good, but he isn’t Jordan, and he didn’t win the big one.”  This scenario is probably a good option if James doesn’t mind the constant Jordan measuring stick.

Cleveland Cavaliers- Cleveland is LeBron James hometown.  He’s never known anything else.  He never went to college so he’s spent his entire life in Ohio (Akron is his real hometown).  The Cleveland is hungry for a championship (in any sport).  They will run this entire franchise into the ground if that is what it takes to bring home a title WITH LeBron James.  They are coming off a league best record this season and return most of their core players.  Shaquille O’Neal is coming off the books so they can use that money to go out and get another piece to the puzzle.  Will they bring in another superstar?  No, but they can add a solid piece.  Our money is on LeBron James staying in Cleveland.  He has unfinished business there, and if he can win a title, he would really become a KING (at least in Ohio).

So now that the Boston Celtics have ended the Cavaliers season early…….Let the “LeBron James Games” begin!

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