This is what makes the LeBron free agency situation so damn annoying: You’ve got former NBA players almost unanimously saying that LeBron should stay in Cleveland, even though the team is awful; and anyone with a brain saying he should go somewhere he can compete with the Warriors.
LeBron leaving Cleveland again doesn’t make him a mercenary; it makes him smart. Just like Kevin Durant leaving Oklahoma City, players today feel empowered. Shorter contracts. More mobility. They want to control their destiny, not leave it in the hands of some (potentially) inept front office.
I wonder how Durant have felt when Sam Presti traded James Harden to keep Serge Ibaka? It’s no coincidence they never got back to the Finals after that trade. I wonder how frustrated LeBron must have felt when the Cavs traded Kyrie Irving, then a few months later traded the players from that deal for a bunch of players who were mostly non-factors in the 2018 playoffs? Barkley wants LeBron to stay in Cleveland, but does he trust the Cavs front office to do anything right?
Besides, Barkley isn’t one to talk – this is a guy who forced his way out of Philadelphia, then did the same in Phoenix all looking for that elusive title. It was reported that Barkley claimed he’d retire if the Suns didn’t trade him. Barkley got his wish, and was dealt to Houston.
But now he wants LeBron to stick it out in the East, and risk getting passed by the Celtics and 76ers?