The long goodbye to LeBron James

June, 25, 2010
6/25/10
1:33
PM ET
Abbott By Henry Abbott
ESPN.com
Archive
John Krolik of Cavs: The Blog, digests the news of draft night:
So far this offseason, two LeBron-related realities have become clear. The first is that LeBron does not feel such a strong sense of loyalty towards Cleveland and the current Cavalier team that he has secretly planned on returning to the Cavs no matter what.

If that was how he felt, one assumes he would have talked to Tom Izzo.

LeBron refusing to assure Izzo he would return to the Cavs didn’t/doesn’t guarantee that he’s leaving, but it does strongly suggest that Cleveland would need to give him a better supporting cast than any other team, or at least one nearly as good. There is now a very high likelihood that the Chicago Bulls will be able to offer LeBron a far better supporting cast than the Cleveland Cavaliers will be able to offer him. If they can’t the Miami Heat will likely be able to offer James the chance to pair with Wade and at least one other big free agent.

In my heart, I can’t imagine LeBron playing for another team. But my head is telling me LeBron has likely played his last game as a Cavalier. ...

In the weeks before this does or doesn’t actually happen is that it’s nobody’s fault. The front office had two good chances to win a championship, and it went for them. In this league, there’s no excuse for not going all-out when the opportunity to win a title is there.

All the cap space and patience in the world wouldn’t have gotten them a Bosh/Rose/Noah combination, because they didn’t have the draft picks. The options available to the front office were to go for the good chance the Cavs could win a championship with a team thrown together around LeBron or go for the slim chance of building an NBA 2k team around LeBron.

The choice they made likely won’t pan out, but that doesn’t mean it was the wrong one. LeBron’s always made his priorities clear: He wants to be on the team that gives him the best chance of winning championships in the near future. The Cavs made those moves, or at least what they thought those moves were. Now they have few assets or ways to improve, and there are teams that can potentially give LeBron a better chance to win a championships ever did or could.

Henry Abbott | email

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