By: Alex Reimer
Now that this NBA free agency stuff is just about over, it’s time to take a step back and analyze what has happened.
Excluding LeBron, the answer is, “not much.” Carlos Boozer will play with Derrick Rose, and Al Jefferson will replace Boozer in Utah. Amar’e Stoudemire received 100 million dollars from the Knicks, and will begin the one-man crusade to lead them to 35 wins.
The Hawks somehow thought it was a good idea to give Joe Johnson more than 100 million dollars. 6th seed in the Eastern Conference for life!
The Nets struck out on every major free agent, so they instead settled and decided to give guys like Travis Outlaw 4 guaranteed years. Life could be a worse if you’re a Nets fan, though. You could be a Timberwolves fan.
The Celtics retained Paul Pierce and Ray Allen because they had no other choice. They signed Jermaine O’Neal to fill the void of an injured Kendrick Perkins and likely to retire Rasheed Wallace.
But that was all before “The Decision.” Something about LeBron, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh all teaming up in Miami just comes off as wrong.
It should come off as the utmost act of selflessness. It should come off as three of the best players in the league sacrificing personal gains for the ultimate goal of winning a championship.
But instead, it comes off as a bunch of 6’5 seniors sticking a 5’0 freshman’s head into the toilet. With Mike Miller, Juwan Howard, Udonis Haslem, and Zydrunas Ilgauskas all also heading to South Beach, there are a lot of bystanders, egging the bullies on.
Maybe it’s the fact that LeBron James, the most talented player in the league, was the last major free agent to sign opposed to the first. He came off as a follower, and not as a leader.
This is different than Kevin Garnett, Allen, and Pierce all coming together with the Celtics in the summer of 2007. Those three were in their 30’s and had accomplished every individual goal one could hope to accomplish. Except winning a title.
James, Wade, and Bosh are all in their mid-20’s. Dwyane Wade has his championship, but Bosh and James do not. For those two, this seems like giving up.
For LeBron James, this seems like he feels he can never win it by himself. If he felt he could, why would he give up all of this and become “2nd fiddle” at 25 years-old? Because that’s what LeBron is to Wade. He will never be thought of as “the man.”
This is not a story of LeBron James wanting to give up all personal accolades for a championship. If that was the case, he wouldn’t have orchestrated the embarrassing “Decision” ESPN special.
This is a story of LeBron James going to Miami because it’s the “cool” thing to do. This is a story of LeBron James wanting so desperately to win not because he feels a burning desire to, but because he thinks it’s simply a missing piece to his brand.
If LeBron James had the competitive spirit of a Michael Jordan or even Kobe Bryant, he wouldn’t have gone to Miami to go along with the ride.
He would have started his own ride, somewhere else.
Alex Reimer is the host of the Red Sox podcast, “Without a Curse.” “Without a Curse” is available on both www.thesportsstuff.com and in the iTunes store. Alex is also the host of “The Alex Reimer Show,” which airs every Saturday on 1120 AM WBNW Boston and www.moneymattersradio.net. This week (7/17), “The Alex Reimer Show” will air in its temporary time slot of 12-1 PM EST. Alex can be reached at, Alexredsox076@aol.com.