There’s no doubt the king – LeBron James – is the greatest basketball player today. It’s a statement that’d be hard to make however, if he didn’t break the hearts of Cleveland fans and to go to Miami where he picked up his two Championship rings.
But what if he’d never left?
Well for all those who accuse LeBron of being disloyal, or like to play the “could’a should’a would’a” game, here’s a look at what might have happened had he stayed.
Had LeBron stayed, Cavs owner Dan Gilbert had it in the works to bring over Amare Stoudemire, as well as mortgaging the franchise’s future to bring over Carmelo Anthony as well. How would that have changed the past, present and future of the NBA as it is today?
Well with ‘Melo and LeBron joining forces to create a super team, the Knicks without Melo no doubt fall to the bottom of the league, where Cleveland was after LeBron left. That means the Knicks would likely get the 1st round pick – perhaps the best player to come out of Duke since Grant Hill – Kyrie Irving.
Dwayne Wade, who’s unable to convince LeBron to take his talents to South Beach, would have opted out of his contract with Miami and left for his home town of Chicago. With fellow Chi native and MVP Derrick Rose by his side, it’s likely they would have ousted LeBron’s Cavs in a seven-game series in the 2011 Eastern Conference Finals, bringing back the Larry O’Brien trophy since Michael Jordan did it last. Oh as for that year’s winner Dirk Nowitzki – no win for he.
The next year’s (LeBron’s first actual championship win) see’s the NBA’s player association pushing back against David Stern’s vetoing of the Lakers’ Chris Paul trade. The NBA players association wins, CP3 joins Kobe and later, Dwight Howard, to combine for the league’s most dominant force, ensuring years of deep playoff actions for years to come.
But that year, just as it happened, Ray Allen leaves the Big Three in Boston, for the Big 3 in San Antonio instead of Miami. So now, instead of his late game heroics over the team he actually went to, his signature series-clinching corner three shot is now happening over ‘Melo and the Bulls.
Two years in, LeBron and Cleveland are still without a championship.