Friday, July 16, 2010

Reacting to LeBron's Decision

We've had about a week to contemplate the world-rocking "decision" LeBron James made in front of the entire world. It seems that everyone has an opinion, ranging from outrage over his choice to outrage over others' outrage. All-in-all it seems like no one with a clue can just leave well enough alone. The man made his choice, a choice which was well founded and thought out. In the days following LeBron's admittedly nauseating television special, the Heat have managed to add several middle-of-the-road role players to a roster centering on three high profile superstars.

I had several conversations last week about the favorites to win the 2011 NBA Championship. Clearly, Wade, James, and Bosh is a great start, but before adding Mike Miller and Zydrunas Ilgauskas, and re-signing Udonis Haslem, the LA Lakers remained the clear-cut favorites. Now, with several quality rotation pieces to surround their superstars, the Heat are beginning to look like legit title contenders.

Aside from the team's championship aspirations, playing for the Heat offers LeBron two assets that the Cavaliers could never hope to match. First, he moves to Miami and plays in South Beach. Perfect weather, gorgeous women, and an unequaled party atmosphere have to be considered when discussing the life choices of a 25-year old young man. Second, signing with the Heat affords LeBron the right to play with two of his best friends. I know for a fact that I'm not the only one who has discussed the possibility of recruiting a group of close friends to live together (or at least in close quarters) to prolong the lifestyle which became so comfortable during our college years.

It's easy for fans and the media to forget that before this was a basketball decision, it was a life decision. LeBron James is not simply a basketball player going to play a game in Miami, he is a man going to live there. Above all else, he is a human being just like the rest of us, and although his job pays better than most and is more visible to the general public, his desire to be happy must not be discounted. People spoke to no end about chasing money or chasing championships, but what about chasing happiness?

Sure, leaving the Cavaliers to join up with Wade and Bosh will assure that LeBron's legacy will never be the same, but does LeBron really care? After all, a legacy is the way we remember LeBron's career, not the way he remembers his life. And that is a vital distinction.