Tuesday, June 29, 2010

It's a power play

Want to get a real good inside look at what's happening with LeBron James' dalliance with NBA free agency? Read Yahoo!Sports columnist Adrian Wojnarowksi's latest piece entitled "Team LeBron Reaches for Prominence."

The insightful columnist writes about the tug-of-war for James' emotions and services between Maverick Carter, who head LeBron's team in Cleveland, and William Wesley, the famed World Wide Wes, who is trying to wrest away LeBron from Carter.

Wesley wants James anywhere but Cleveland, according to the piece. That way, he becomes the most influential man in the superstar's life. If LeBron chooses to remain with the Cavaliers, Wesley's power base crumbles.

It comes down to a power play between Carter, the former Akron high school basketball star, and Wesley, an interloper whose power base seems to be built with smoke and mirrors. Carter is the genuine product whose whole life has been spent in Northeast Ohio. Wesley is not.

It will be interesting to see who most influences James' decision in the next 10 days -- there can be no official free-agent signing before July 8 -- with the loser slinking intro the background.

So who does LeBron listen to? His heart? His head? His girl friend? His mother? His children? His high school buddies? Warren Buffet? Larry King (just kidding)? Who?

If he chooses to leave Cleveland, he will be vilified and considered a traitor. Those seven outstanding seasons he gave Cleveland's basketball fans will quickly be forgotten.

Will it be Art Modell-like? No way. Modell left and took an entire franchise with him. James will take only himself. Some folks might argue that's like taking away the franchise. And they wouldn't be totally incorrect because the Cavaliers will never be the same if he leaves.

LeBron has achieved iconic status in Cleveland and the sports world. That status is now in jeopardy unless Carter can somehow climb into the mind of his good friend and convince him that there's no place like home.

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