Saturday, July 3, 2010

A prediction

For what it's worth, here's what's going to go down in the new several days. Cutting to the bottom line quickly.

LeBron James will not sign a contract with the Chicago Bulls, New York Knicks, New Jersey Nets or Miami Heat. He will re-up with the Cavaliers, but not for the max contract. He will repeat what he did the last time. Sign for three years. And here's why.

He is only 25 years old. He's still young enough where he can get bigger bucks later. He loves the Akron-Cleveland area. This is where he's most comfortable. And most important, he'll have a new coach in Byron Scott.

Don't underestimate the latter point. In Scott, he has a coach who has been to the championship game as a player and coach. He knows what it takes to get there.

LeBron will be willing to give Scott a chance to take him and the Cavaliers to that lofty goal. And the new coach will be given a three-year shot at doing what Mike Brown was unable to do.

The timing would be perfect for the superstar and the franchise he has helped become a power. It's a win-win situation. If it doesn't work out with Scott, LeBron will be only 28, still very much in the prime of his career, with plenty left to accomplish his goal elsewhere.

LeBron said recently that his greatness will be determined on how many championships he wins. That's where he got it wrong. Ted Williams was one of the all-time great hitters in Major League Baseball history and yet never won a World Series. He appeared in only one. The great Ernie Banks never appeared in a World Series. Both men are in the Hall of Fame.

Greatness isn't determined by the number of rings you wear or championships you win. Greatness is determined by how well you play the game. And it's safe to say LeBron James is one of the greatest basketball players -- maybe the greatest -- who ever laced up a pair of sneakers.

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