Who’da thunk it right? The Cavs and Dan Gilbert meeting with his agent Rich Paul, about the potential of Akron’s favorite son coming back home. Not me!
Four years ago after “The Decision” there was no way I ever wanted to see him back in a Cavaliers uniform. Would never root for him again, the fan in me said. However after four excruciating, non-playoff years and a (.313) winning percentage, it’s funny how constant losing will change your mind. How all of a sudden in sports, you’re willing to forgive and forget for wins.
Was he wrong in how he handled free agency in 2010 with the circus-like atmosphere and then the TV special to rip our hearts out? Hell yes, and he knows that. But from a business stand point, let’s admit it; he made the right move as the Heat played in four straight NBA Finals, winning two of them. He became a champion.
If he comes back, and it would make for a great story, does he owe the city and Cavalier fans everywhere an apology? You bet your sweet you-know-what he does.
But he wouldn’t be coming back for just sentimental reasons, or to be closer to home and his family. If he returns to the Cavaliers it’s because he feels they give him the best chance to win because of the roster they have now and for the future.
Will he ever completely forgive Dan Gilbert for that scathing letter he wrote? No, not completely, just like Gilbert and true Cavs fans will never forgive him for the pain he put them through. However the Cavs owner and the 4-time league MVP are smart enough business men to realize that they can’t let those hard feelings from four years ago damage what could be a very successful and lucrative partnership. Plus he knows that @CavsDan is willing to pay into the luxury tax, something Heat owner Micky Arison would not do last year.
The longer Pat Riley and the Heat go without signing a legit free agent to bolster Miami’s roster this off season, the better the chances are for the Cavaliers and all the other teams of luring him away from South Beach. But don’t count “Riles” out just yet. The man has a total of 9 NBA Championship rings for a reason and that’s what scares me.
Plus, as the Cavs roster is constituted today, is their enough talent there for the 2-time Finals MVP to think he can return and win?
You’d have two-thirds of a “Big Three” with Kyrie Irving and the 8-time All-NBA first teamer, but who completes the trio? Is it #1 overall pick Andrew Wiggins? If so, how long will that take? Would the 2-time All-Star MVP coming to Cleveland make Dion Waiters a better player and that third amigo? Hard to imagine Waiters being able to play with two ball-dominate players when he can’t even play with one.
So is a trade necessary to bring in a big time All-Star like Kevin Love here to complete the trifecta? You have plenty of assists, but which ones would you be willing to give up for a player who could be a free agent after just one season in Cleveland? Are you willing for maybe a little “Love” to part with the bright future of Andrew Wiggins before he even plays a game for the Cavs? What about a lottery combo package of Dion Waiters and Tristan Thompson and future number #1 draft picks? Yes, you have to give up something, to get something in return. But is Gilbert willing to gamble on that, like so many of you do at his casino?
It’s the “Fourth of July” and fireworks will be filling the skies all over this great country of ours, but imagine the fireworks that would occur if “The King” came home and apologized, and then fulfilled his original promise of leading Cleveland to its first championship since 1964. Sure, it may be a long shot, and who knows he may turn his back on us again, but at least there’s a shot. Four years ago I never would have even considered it; in fact I never would have given it a thought. But as free agency is upon us and LeBron James is out there, it’s all this basketball junkie can think about.