It’s September and we’re already talking about the summer of 2014. Kill me now.
But this has to be on LeBron James this time. It really wasn’t the media trying to stir the pot, not this time.
To make a long story short, here are the quotes that have been circling the interwebs in the last 24 hours, prompting over reaction to a certain extent:
“I have absolutely no idea,” James recently told ESPN.com. “I would love to spend the rest of my career in Miami with this great team and great organization as we continue to compete for championships. That’s ideal. But we don’t know what may happen from now to the end of the season. That’s the nature of the business. It’s the nature of not knowing what tomorrow brings.
“I mean, as a kid, I never thought the Bulls would break up. Never. If you’d of told me as a kid that (Michael) Jordan and (Scottie) Pippen wouldn’t play together for the rest of their lives, I’d have looked at you crazy. And Phil Jackson wouldn’t be the coach? I’d have looked at you crazy. But sometimes the nature of the business doesn’t allow things to happen like you would want them to. But we’ll see.”
“I owe it to myself, I owe it my teammates and I owe it to the Miami Heat to stay focused,” he said. “As a leader, I’m not even going to let that side of the business get me unfocused on what I’m trying to do and that’s trying to win another championship.
“I’m going to try to (stop the discussion about free agency), but you always have reporters who are going to always bring it up. They’re going to change the question and make it sound like something else. But it will get to a point, if I continue to hear it, where I will say, ‘Hey guys, I’ve answered the question and out of respect, let’s talk about this after the season.”‘
This is not really news. Not new news, I should say. This is exactly what LeBron should have said. He didn’t say anything that would prompt any backlash. Also, what’d you expect him to say?
The thing is, the first part of this excerpt is truth to its core when it comes to LeBron and the summer of 2014.
Here’s the key: “But we don’t know what may happen from now to the end of the season.”
He said earlier that he would like to stay with the Miami Heat for the rest of his career, it would be “ideal”. What he’s saying is exactly what he was saying when he was with Cleveland in his final year – it just depends on what the Heat do.
Also, the health of his teammates, in particular Dwyane Wade. I can’t remember when the last time Wade finished a season as “healthy”, maybe 2010?
That’s a huge factor. I don’t think LeBron stays if Wade has another injury-plagued season.
I honestly think LeBron does indeed opt-out of his current contract. However, if the Miami Heat goes on to win another championship, I believe there’s no chance he leaves.
Miami is going to start the season as prohibit favorites to three-peat. The only thing, really, standing in the way of LeBron and a third title is the health of the Heat.
Ironically, it’s also the thing standing in the way of LeBron and another free agency frenzy.
Ah, the summer of 2014. So close, yet so far.