Oct 30, 2012; Miami, FL, USA; Miami Heat shooting guard Dwyane Wade (left) - power forward Chris Bosh (center) - small forward LeBron James (right) after receiving their NBA championship rings before a game against the Boston Celtics at American Airlines Arena. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

NBA Free Agency: Where the Next Champion Is Born

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Since the “Summer of 2010,” LeBron James has changed the NBA so much. In short, LeBron is now a two-time champion, the Miami Heat is now historically one of the better franchises in the NBA (five NBA Finals appearances, three NBA championships) and he mapped the formula on how to get a nation to turn on you — it begins and ends with a TV show, apparently.

However, most importantly, one thing that he changed forever is NBA free agency. It will never be the same again. Ever.

And that is especially true when we come across a free agent class such as the one that presents itself this year — such as what the case was in 2010.

So when the likes of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Carmelo Anthony, Chris Bosh, Kyle Lowry, Pau Gasol and Dirk Nowitzki, Chandler Parsons and Luol Deng head their way to meet with potential suitors, it won’t be like anything we’ve witnessed before.

It won’t be like 2010, either, since (back then) we weren’t hip to the whole “stars teaming up” logic. Don’t get me wrong, it’s probably happened before. Scratch that. I’m sure it’s happened before, however, it hasn’t been commercialized as much as it’s being now.

And while we can attribute some of that publicity to the overwhelming growing hatred of LeBron James, also known as the beast that began this “teaming up” era, we can’t hide the fact that it’s here — and here to stay.

The last time a free agency as star-powered as this one came across the wire, a new champion was born and, sure , bought — 2010. Remember it also featured that one TV s–…never mind.

But the last time a free agent class as highly regarded such as this one crawled across our sun-filled days at the beaches, a two-time NBA champion was compiled — the Miami Heat.

Will one be again? Who knows?

However, logic indicates yes.

Logic states that in order to win a championship, it has to be done with multiple stars. Look no further than the last few NBA champions.

The San Antonio Spurs — multiple stars, a Big Four even.

The Miami Heat — Big Three and a really good Ray Allen.

Dallas Mavericks — Dirk Nowitzki and a very above average supporting cast. Probably an aberration.

Los Angeles Lakers — Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol.

Boston Celtics — the original Big Three — Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen.

See a trend?

If you want to win an NBA championship, you need star power — and more than one dose of it. LeBron understood that in 2010 and took matters in his own hands, rather than leaving that up to front office suits. When Cleveland couldn’t or voted against trading for Amar’e Stoudemire prior to the Summer of 2010, he decided that he needed to take charge of his own circumstances.

That happened to be being his own general manager. That decision resulted in a Big Three, four consecutive NBA Finals appearances and two championship rings.

And he doesn’t regret one ounce of it, regardless of what he says.

This free agency period will go one of two ways. It will either be a mirror image of 2010 and stars will begin to understand what LeBron concluded in 2010, or it will be a money-grabbing game of musical chairs.

Either way, LeBron is going to continue to do his thing and be his own GM. He’ll recruit and the smart players will listen.

At the end of the day, a new NBA champion is going to be born. It will either feature LeBron James and a new version of the Miami Heat, or another star-studded team will be assembled. Either way, the 2014 NBA free agency class will have a big hand in it.

However, if other stars choose ignorance over evidence, LeBron won’t mind it.

Keep making that money, LeBron is just outchea chasing those rings. It’s about time the other NBA stars begin to follow him.


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Tags: Chicago Bulls Houston Rockets LeBron James Miami Heat NBA NBA Free Agency

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