The Decision to Accept Second Best

Most of us assumed the engine driving “The Decision”  straight into a brick wall was LeBron’s narcissism and incessant need for the spotlight. I thought so, until I looked a little deeper.

LeBron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers points to someone in the crowd during a ceremony to present James with the NBA's Most Valuable Player award at the University of Akron in Akron, Ohio in this May 2, 2010 file photo. James confirmed on July 8, 2010 he would be leaving the Cleveland Cavaliers to join the Miami Heat next season. REUTERS/Aaron Josefczyk/Files (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASKETBALL)

The more I thought about it, the more I realized that his national television debacle was (of all things) the easy way out. By inviting Jim Gray and a bunch of bored-to-tears Boys & Girls clubbers to the party, he could play us all like Gepetto.

He didn’t have to act like a man, which would mean standing face-to-face with a Cavaliers organization that coddled him for a decade. He didn’t have to be accountable, which would entail sitting at a podium and explaining to a devastated city why he was leaving home. The fact is, he set it up this way precisely so he didn’t have to do anything he didn’t want to do. It was his show.

And on his show, what does he announce? He’s taking his “talents” to Miami.

Let’s hope he doesn’t forget his ego.

But Miami? Really?

A city without incredible legacy (Chicago). A city without tremendous pressure (New York). A city without an inherent need to win (Cleveland).

He chose Miami: The city that is happiest with a bottle of rum in their hand and a gram of blow in their pocket. The city of Miami will never need LeBron to win the way Cleveland did. I mean, when it’s 75 degrees and sunny in February you have more to worry about than whether or not the Heat won last night. Don’t get me wrong, if LeBron and Co. win then it will certainly be a hell of a party. But if they lose? No big deal, everyone knows Miami is a Dolphins town anyway.

But most important, and the loudest voice in my head saying “no way he goes to Miami”, is above all else, Miami is Dwayne Wade’s team. No way LeBron goes to a team where he can’t ever be the man, right?

But I had to keep in mind, much like his ESPN dog and pony show, his decision was the easy way out. It’s the option with the least amount of risk. Think about it. Wade has been there the longest. Wade has the relationship with the city and fans. Wade has all the pressure to deliver in crunch time. All of which leads us to believe that Wade, not LeBron, will be the one to take the brunt of the criticism if they lose.

This frees up LeBron to do exactly what he wants to do: coast through games, wow the fans with his athleticism, ball it up with his boys, dance around when they win, and most of all, deflect the blame when they lose.

Miami is the move that makes the most sense to LeBron because, well, it’s the move that takes no guts. He might as well have announced he was taking his talents to Harlem…to play with the Globetrotters.

Then I started to put past moves LeBron has made in perspective.

Next: LeBron’s Checkered Past…

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