BOSTON (CBS) — LeBron James has decided to opt out of his contract with the Miami Heat, therefore becoming an unrestricted free agent. As a result, members of 29 NBA front offices are scrambling to figure out a way to lure the best player in the game to their squad.
Some teams have a much better chance than others, but it will basically come down to two things: an ability to pay James top dollar, and a chance to compete for more championships. LeBron won two in Miami, so he no longer lives in fear of being a player who’s never won. That means the money likely takes precedence, but LeBron is also going to have to feel comfortable where he signs.
Here in Boston, it’s hard to imagine the Celtics have a legitimate chance at signing LeBron. Whether it’s because of James’ history playing against the Celtics/getting pelted with beer cups, or whether it’s because he’s essentially been public enemy No. 1 among Celtics fans since he rose to prominence, or whether it’s because he gave a backhanded slap in the face to Bill Russell by switching from No. 23 to No. 6 out of respect for Michael Jordan, the idea of LeBron suiting up in a C’s uniform just seems crazy.
But hey, this is sports. Crazy things happen all the time.
With a sufficient amount of ado already covered, lets’ jump into the top reasons LeBron James should choose to sign with the Boston Celtics.
10. Boston Has Championships
Why did LeBron leave Cleveland in the first place? Because Cleveland is a sad, sad sports city. Cleveland hasn’t won a professional sports championship since 1964. Rumor has it that DJ Khaled once performed to a Cleveland crowd and the audience did not put their hands up nor did they keep them there, because they have no clue what it’s like when someone says “All I do is win.”
In Boston, it’s quite the opposite. Boston sports teams win titles all the time now. The city of Boston is currently mired in a stretch of eight whole months without a pro sports championship. Oh, the humanity! And though the Celtics haven’t won in six seasons, no NBA team hangs more championship banners than the Boston Celtics.
Boston is where champions play — plain and simple.
9. Boston Is Not In Ohio
The Cleveland Cavaliers are, naturally, at the top of everyone’s rumor list for James’ intended destination. After all, he’s from Akron, he was Cleveland’s chosen one, and he was supposed to deliver them some titles. That didn’t work out and he ended up bailing, but perhaps he wants to make up for past misdeeds and bring Cleveland something to feel good about.
But come on, dude. It’s Ohio. You want to go back to Ohio? Who goes back to Ohio after leaving Ohio? You left Ohio for a reason, my man.
Boston not being in Ohio may actually be the best selling point possible.
8. We Have Beaches, Too
OK, so granted Good Harbor isn’t exactly South Beach, but you’d be hard-pressed to find tasty fried clams at a beach-side shack down in Miami. Now I know that our beaches can be kind of rocky, and I know we don’t really have waves that are a lot of fun for your kids to ride, and I know there tends to be massive clumps of seaweed all over the water … and I know you can occasionally step on a crab … and I know we tend to have shark warnings all over the Cape nowadays … but hey, we do have beaches to which you can bring your talent. There’s even a South Beach in Martha’s Vineyard! It has five stars on Yelp!
Our beaches are good enough for the President of the United States. Do you think you better than the president, LeBron? Do you?
7. Three Words: Football At Fenway
LeBron James is a client of Fenway Sports Group, a company headed by John Henry that owns the Boston Red Sox and Liverpool Football Club. LeBron is also a minority owner of the club, and he’s therefore a pretty big Liverpool supporter. Don’t believe me? Look! Here he is rocking a Liverpool scarf:
That’s right, people. And where does Liverpool play when the squad comes across the pond to play a little footy? Why, Fenway Park of course. Football at Fenway! LeBron can sit in the bleachers and chant “We love you Liverpool, we do!” After spending so much time in Miami, I’m sure it’ll be nice for him to see what real fans look like.
And hey, speaking of Fenway …
6. LeBron Could Play For The Red Sox
The defending world champs are scuffling right now, and they badly need help in the outfield. LeBron is a pretty athletic and strong dude, so perhaps he could be a help? He couldn’t do much worse than what the current group of outfielders is producing, so why not stick him out in right field and see what he could do?
Frankly, it’s been too long since we’ve had Deion Sanders and Bo Jackson (and Michael Jordan, to a very small extent) rocking it in two different sports leagues. Give it a shot, LeBron. You look like a natural out there!
5. Easy Travel To 2024 Olympics
In case you hadn’t heard, Boston is one of three finalists for cities which the U.S. Olympic Committee is considering for a bid for the 2024 Summer Games. In 2024, LeBron will be 39 years old, and the Olympics could very well be his last hurrah in competitive basketball (think Larry Bird in Barcelona in ’92). LeBron probably won’t be up for traveling across the planet to play sparingly for a U.S. team full of players who are probably 12 years old at this very moment.
However, if the Olympics are in Boston — and LeBron could be a big spokesman for it — he could simply hop in the back of a pedicab and be the best player-coach Team USA has ever seen.
If you love America, then you have to love LeBron signing with Boston. (Never mind the small detail that Washington, D.C. and San Francisco were the other finalists and that those two cities have NBA teams (Oakland is close enough) as well. OK? Never mind that. Boston is where America started. It just all makes sense, OK? OK.)
We know this about LeBron: He is enchanted by the epic tale of Katniss Everdeen, Peeta Mellark and “The Hunger Games.” In fact, he’s a big fan of reading in general:
We also know this: Boston is a smart city. Like, wicked smart. We’ve got Harvard, we’ve got MIT, we’ve got BU, BC, Northeastern and about a million other colleges scattered throughout the city. We’ve also got a pretty fabulous public library, which could provide LBJ with a nice little sanctuary to read whichever Young Adult titles his little heart desires. Myself, I suggest the Harry Potter books, but if you want to dive headfirst into the Twilight series, nobody is going to stop you!
3. He Won’t Have To Deal With Rajon Rondo Guarding Him Anymore
Rajon Rondo doesn’t always guard LeBron James, but when he does, he’s a real pain in the neck.
Why would LeBron want to deal with this pesky defense ever again?
That’s annoying. If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em. If that’s not the most perfect LeBron slogan, I don’t know what is.
2. Hospitals And Doctors!
What has caused LeBron to get mocked and made fun of most during his time in Miami? Cramps!
Guess who can prevent cramps? Some of the best doctors in the world can prevent cramps.
Mass General is a stone’s throw from the TD Garden, and the Celtics have the kind of coin that could hire a muscle specialist to be on hand at all times — even in those hot summer months — to ensure that you never again have to be carried off the court because LeBron’s leg cramped up. Granted, it’s never actually necessary to be carried off the court due to a cramp, but Boston can eliminate that scenario from ever reaching that point.
1. Winning Over Boston Fans
Let’s be honest here, people. Boston fans can be both the very best and the very worst. It’s just a matter of which team you’re on. LeBron has proven many things in the NBA. He’s proven he can be an MVP (four times, actually). He’s proven he can win championships (twice). He’s proven he can simultaneously be the league’s most dangerous scoring threat as well as the game’s best passer. He’s proven just about everything there is to prove on the basketball court.
So why not up the stakes a bit? Why not try to do the impossible?
Why not try to win over Boston fans?
It’s already been mentioned how badly LeBron has been hated in Boston, but it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to understand why. He’s only played in Boston wearing a Cleveland or Miami jersey, and he’s therefore been the enemy. But the second he suits up in a C’s uniform, he’ll know what it feels like to have the best fans in the world behind him. Granted, he’d have to stop all of that crying that he does after opponents gently graze his giant muscles in order to get the entire Boston fan base behind him, so perhaps it’ll be a mutually beneficial situation. LeBron will start playing a more respectable game, and the legions of Celtics fans will love him for it.
It’s a selling point that no other team can offer.
So what say you, LeBron? Shall we reserve a table for you now in the North End?
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