Where will LeBron James go?

Where will LeBron James go?
June 24, 2014, 12:45 pm
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(Associated Press)

LeBron James became a free agent this morning. That’s the big news of the day, and most likely, of every day from now until he’s no longer a free agent. While we still don’t know where James will play next, we know for sure that the coverage will be insane. It already is insane. For instance, ESPN just announced that every World Cup game will now be split-screened next to a picture of LeBron wearing Nikes, drinking Powerade and texting on his Samsung — above the words WHERE WILL HE GO?
 
As of right now, the best bet is that he won’t go anywhere. That’s because Pat Riley is one of the most persuasive human beings on Earth. If anyone can convince LeBron (and ultimately, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh) to come back for less money in the name of another championship, it’s Riley. Riley can convince anyone of just about anything. He could convince Skip Bayless to take a shower. (Note: Bayless reportedly hasn’t showered since 2003)
 
And Riley already convinced these guys once. More importantly, he convinced them and then followed through. Miami’s Big 3 might not always agree with everything that comes out of Riley’s mouth, but there’s no doubt that they respect and trust him. That LeBron does, especially. He also respects and has a great relationship with Erik Spoelstra. That’s so important for a superstar, and an enormous advantage for Miami.
 
Obviously, it’s clear that the Heat need help if they’re going to take back the title next year. For one, because Wade’s body has rapidly turned to mush and he can no longer give the game what he used to. The Heat managed him in the regular season this year, and he was still run down by the Finals. Other than Wade, there’s the fact that in Game 5 of the Finals, Miami’s Big 3 started alongside Rashard Lewis and Ray Allen. Reminder: It’s 2014. This is a problem. Everyone knows this is a problem.
 
It’s a problem that Riley needs to address, but before he actually does it, he’ll need to sell LeBron (and in turn, Bosh and Wade) on how he plans to do it. He needs to convince them that it can be done, so that they’ll take less, re-join the fray and give Riley the freedom he needs to follow through.
 
If Riley’s successful in his persuasion, LeBron will be back and the Heat will most likely be better than they were this year.
 
For what it’s worth: My bet is on Riley being successful because you’d have to be bonkers to bet on Riley to fail.
 
But in the meantime . . .
 
LEBRON JAMES IS A FREE AGENT!!!
 
So… Where do you think he’ll end up? What’s the sexiest option? What can we throw out there that’s really going to set the Internet ablaze and get the world retweeting its brains out?
 
The return to Cleveland has got to be No. 1. Did you see that LeBron’s wife posted a photo of Ohio on her Instagram account yesterday? I think that definitely means he’s going back to the Cavs. I mean, his wife loves Ohio! How perfect would that be? He can exorcise all the demons leftover over from The Decision. He can bring his hometown the title he always dreamed he would win there. He can team up with his marketing partner Johnny Manziel and really tear things up. Honestly, Cleveland is the perfect destination.
 
Or what about going to play with Kobe in LA, or even better, what about trying to takeover LA? That’s right. The Clippers! LeBron to the Clippers. This is definitely going to happen! Doc Rivers is the perfect coach. LeBron and Chris Paul are great friends. LeBron definitely wants to win a title with Paul. He wants to rule LA. Just like Magic. And to do it for the Clippers, a team that no one has done it with before, and in the aftermath of the Donald Sterling mess, would be historic.
 
Legendary!
 
The Clippers are the perfect team for LeBron.
 
But not as perfect as New York. You really think LeBron will be able to turn down Phil Jackson? No way. Who do you think he is, Steve Kerr? Riley is going to pitch hard and fast at LeBron. On the other hand, Phil is going to attack his mind in a way that James has never experienced. He’s going to massage and mystify James psyche and have him feeling things that he never thought possible.
 
LeBron will walk out of his first meeting with Phil Jackson looking like Reggie Jackson at the end of Naked Gun. But instead of “I must kill . . . the queen” it will be “I am the king . . . of New York.”
 
He’s definitely going to New York.
 
And Chicago. And Brooklyn.
 
And the Celtics. Yup. You heard it hear first.
 
LeBron James is going to the Celtics.  
 
Most importantly, do you think that he’s started planning how he’ll announce it this time? I do. It has to be weighing heavy on his mind. With all the strides that James’ has made in terms of improving his public image, he has to nail this announcement to officially separate himself from the LeBron of old.
 
This decision has to be so very “unThe Decision.”
 
I’m thinking he should go with a simple Instagram photo.
 
Sent at midnight on July 1.
 
Just LeBron standing in downtown Cleveland, smiling, giving thumbs up and wearing a red Cavaliers hat.
 
With a caption underneath that says:
 
“Psyyyyyyche! Heading back to South Beach!”
 
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