Zach Lowe wrote about the Cleveland Cavaliers’ future for ESPN.com. His piece contained the following tidbit (bold face ours).
The organization is confident James won’t leave again, but officials acknowledge it would be at least a slight possibility if Cleveland flames out. If he stays, James will have the clout to order another reconstruction. People who know James see a 31-year-old facing his basketball mortality — watching a rival in Oakland seize the league and shorten James’ championship window.
Let’s be real about this. LeBron James has left franchises in the lurch, twice. He did it to Cleveland after his first stint. He did it again to Miami with Wade and Bosh on the decline.
Both times, LeBron James made what looked like the best objective basketball decision. He went from sad sack supporting cast in Cleveland to form a super team with the Heat, and went to four-straight finals. He went back to Cleveland when Kyrie Irving plus cap room and No. 1 overall pick looked like a stronger option moving forward.
LeBron did not entirely trust Cleveland to get it right. Instead of signing a long-term deal. He has committed to Cleveland, on basically a year-to-year basis, giving him leverage and a potential out.
The Golden State Warriors and Stephen Curry have emerged, and changed every superstar’s calculation process as far as winning an NBA title. LeBron is a physical marvel at 31, but he will be entering his 14th NBA season next year. He can’t carry a team for that much longer.
Would restructuring Cleveland really give him the best chance to win an NBA title in 2017? LeBron bought a $21 million house in Los Angeles, signed a deal with Warner Bros, and the Lakers have a lot of cap room…