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What does Wade/Bosh pairing mean for LeBron James? It doesn't help Cleveland's chances.

Jul 7, 2010, 9:27 AM EDT

Thumbnail image for lebron_james_arty.jpgDwyane Wade and Chris Bosh are teaming up in Miami.

The Eastern Conference is getting tougher at the top, the road to the finals and a shot at the ring James desperately wants is getting harder.

That leaves LeBron James with a tough choice:

Stay at home in Cleveland with a good team that has not gotten it done in the playoffs, but a team that could improve. Or…

Move on to another team, pair up with another star, and see if you can win there. Or…

Pair up with Wade and Bosh in Miami to form a super team.

The Eastern Conference will be tough next year. Boston won the conference and made it to the finals, and they are getting the band back together for one more run. Orlando, which went to the finals two years ago, will bring back a powerhouse roster with Dwight Howard and Jameer Nelson.

And now Miami — who was the fifth seed last year, they were not that bad — has added Chris Bosh and will have the space to put together a good team around them.

James could join Wade and Bosh in Miami. ESPN is reporting that is being discussed around James. But other things would need to fall into place.

First, it would take a sign-and-trade from Toronto where they take on the questionable contract of Michael Beasley or Mario Chalmers to make it work.

However, there have been questions from the James camp about this, feeling it would diminish any title won and his marketing standing, going to Wade’s team. Which is silly — is Magic Johnson less of a star because he played with Kareem Abdul Jabbar and James Worthy?  

LeBron has been rumored to have a preference for staying in Cleveland, but that team has fallen short in an Eastern Conference that is now getting tougher. And Cleveland is not going to be able to get a lot better this summer, with many of the top free agents now headed elsewhere.

LeBron has to be tempted by Chicago, where he and Derrick Rose would have to learn to play together but could form a powerful team, with Joakim Noah in the middle. New York can now offer Amare Stoudemire — someone James encouraged Cleveland to go after at the last trade deadline (they settled for Antawn Jamison instead.

It’s impossible to predict what James will do — the teams that courted him and some people thought to be close to him are in the dark. But right now, Cleveland’s position seems to be weakening, and every other team is trying desperately to fill in the gaps.

  1. kurt helin is awful - Jul 7, 2010 at 9:54 AM

    Dude, the Magic Johnson comparison is awful; your cognitive reasoning skills are not so sharp. Johnson was drafted by, and played his entire career with the Lakers; of course it didn’t hurt his reputation. On the other hand, if Lebron goes to Miami, he’s essentially saying he needs to be with DWade, and couldn’t do it in Cleveland. Furthermore, he’s going to WADE’s team.

  2. Winning? - Jul 7, 2010 at 10:03 AM

    If this was about strictly about winning…the only choice is Chicago..tremendous young nucleus in place….more cap space to add even more talent…I don’t believe LBJ has the nuts to build upon MJ’s legacy…he’ll wuss out and stay in Cleveland where he can be the man and continue to come up short…

  3. terry - Jul 7, 2010 at 10:09 AM

    A few days ago Sam Smith remarked that Wade does not want to play WITH James – he wants to BEAT him. Now (it seems that) Miami has Wade and Bosh, James has to know that Cleveland does not have the players to win, and if he REALLY wants to win there is only one place it makes sense for him to go – Chicago. The money will follow him there, but he brings a lot of baggage.
    If the Bulls don’t get any one of the ‘big three’ life will still go on.
    FYI – I am a Bulls fan.

  4. DPS - Jul 7, 2010 at 10:10 AM

    Lebron may very well go back to the Cavs, but I just don’t know what they have? Take lebron away from that team and they win 25 games. Also, Lebron is from Akron, not Cleveland. My bold prediction is that Lebron goes to the Knicks stating on Thursday night:
    “I have decided to play for the NY Knicks, the largest market in the world, the biggest stage in the world and a town that is eager to win a title. The Knicks have made some great decisions recently, with the addition of Amare, in particular, and with salary cap flexibility next off season or sooner. This was a very difficult decision and all of the teams offered their own pros and cons. NY allows me to put my own stamp on a team that will hopefully get better every year.
    As for my hometown, I love Akron, Ohio and will do all I can to bring money back there. Tonight’s fundraiser is just one example of how I will continue to use my celebrity to help others. Winning in NY will maximize my ability to help my hometown for many years to come.
    NY, here I come!”

  5. Pep pep - Jul 7, 2010 at 10:24 AM

    If this was just about winning he would go to miami…they would make up half of the starters on team USA…it would be a Superteam that could win multiple championships…against the Lakers no less.

  6. chris - Jul 7, 2010 at 10:29 AM

    I would respect LBJ alot more if he went to New York or Chicago but it wont happen. He cares more about image than he does titles. He is going to keep being the Big Fish in the little Pond and racking up MVP trophies while his fingers stay ring free forever.

  7. Eszart A. Wynter - Jul 7, 2010 at 10:46 AM

    Any title outside of Cleveland for LBJ would be hollow at best. I mean Paul Pierce was in a worse situation in Boston and he stuck it out for his fans and he is from LA ( and he eventually one a championship). LBJ is from Akron and if he left would be looked at as being a gutless spoiled brat.(He has been gravitating to passing Kobe in the spoiled behavior column) Dwyane Wade even did it without him so if he won in Miami he cant legitmately say that he took the team to a championship.

  8. Craig W. - Jul 7, 2010 at 10:48 AM

    How the egos of three near superstars blended in Boston, under a fantastic defensive coach and an under-rated head coach, was what put the Celtics over the top to compete. When the players run the asylum there are no championships – see Del Harris in Los Angeles over a decade ago. That’s why I expect Pat Riley to coach the Heat next year. Riley and ego is why I doubt Lebron will go to Miami.
    There needs to be a team first, not second; then there need to be players who compliment and can play together. Lebron and Wade both need to control the ball to maximize their effectiveness. Lebron and Amar’e are a better blend.

  9. Evan - Jul 7, 2010 at 10:51 AM

    Klein,
    .
    As the first poster stated, your comparison to Magic was absolutely horrible. Please edit your original article and remove the whole thought.
    .
    That said, I’m not so sure about Chicago. I think they would be really good with James but I’m just not convinced that Noah/Rose could play with some of the elite players in the league.
    .
    I think he’s headed to the Knicks or staying in Cleveland. I don’t see him going to Miami.

  10. Zack - Jul 7, 2010 at 11:04 AM

    It’s funny how everyone said how LBJ was running FA and everyone would fall in place after him. But now he’ll be the 4th guy to make his decision, ha.

  11. Rip - Jul 7, 2010 at 11:05 AM

    LBJ will not leave money on the table. And Bosh won’t go to Miami for less money if Miami can’t come up with a sign and trade that Toronto will accept.

  12. ron - Jul 7, 2010 at 11:32 AM

    plain and simple. he will not sign with miami for less than wade and bosh. they can only offer him right now about 15 million. end of story.

  13. in FLORIDA - Jul 7, 2010 at 11:33 AM

    the title of the article says what does the bosh/wade merger mean for LeBron. it means he’ll stay in Cleveland or go to Miami. Chicago is now out of the LeBron sweepstakes, unfortunately. i’m from Chicago and would have loved for him to go there. his biggest problem is, nobody wants to go to Cleveland. but his conscious is telling him to stay in the interest of not devastating an entire region… his hometown region, no less. to answer the headline’s question though, i think it means ZERO RINGS for the self-appointed “king”. which by the way, means he never reaches the global status (at least in China) of Kobe. the Chinese culture revolves around championships. Kobe has a bunch, LeBron has NONE. LeBron NEVER gets the global icon status his ego is craving.

  14. Steve - Jul 7, 2010 at 11:35 AM

    Come on guys do you really think he would have a 1 hour special to say he is staying in Cleveland? Really…
    The only makes since if he is going to New York or Maybe Chicago.
    Once you put it all together I think its New York.
    He only has to win once to go down as a great in New York. In Chicago he will be compared to Jordan unless he wins more then MJ did.

  15. Cire Lien - Jul 7, 2010 at 11:37 AM

    Bron’s going to NY to play with Amare and being in the Apple. With Bosh going to Miami, he has no choice – can’t accept the status quo on Cleveland. I can feel it.

  16. Anne Lamb - Jul 7, 2010 at 11:54 AM

    I would like to know why all of the New York Media and The National Media Love to TRASH Cleveland and Ohio!!!! We have sports savy fans who have supported their teams through thick or thin, you can’t find fans more loyal!!!
    It looks like big money sports are going to drive the middle class out!!! You people talk like a million dollars is a drop in the bucket for the athletes, then there are middle class people losing everything because their jobs are gone and if one looks at the merchandise that the pro and college sports teams sell that stuff is usually made over seas, so how are big teams so loyal to the people? The pro teams will price the people out and I guess the media will have to keep the teams going and maybe people will stop watching because they have no favorite players that stay loyal either.

  17. ChitownMike - Jul 7, 2010 at 1:04 PM

    I agree w you 100%
    Going to Miami would be like throwing his arms up in the air like a women is distress!!!
    Do the right thing & go to the Bulls & bring Boozer with you!!!!

  18. Anonymous - Jul 7, 2010 at 2:03 PM

    Please name the other 9 players the heat would have on the roster! Those players would be playing for the minimum salary. They would have a very good team but with the three big stars but outside those players, the roster would be thin.

  19. Justin - Jul 7, 2010 at 2:09 PM

    Whats going to be awesome, is the fact that Wade/Bosh in Miami and if LBJ joins Stoudamire in NY they’ll both still lose to Chicago even if Chicago just signs Boozer.
    You people forget this is a team game. Bulls Bench is better than NY and Miami. Rose/Noah are already super star’s and will only get better. Loul Deng is a great SF averages almost 20 points a game and is no bum.
    Tom Thibidou is a defense genius, Stoudamire/Bosh are offensive guys. Taj Gibson the Bulls all rookie PF is a better defender than these guys. Bulls needs a SG and a PF. Sign Boozer, over pay Ray Allen get him to reunite with Tom and the Bulls will beat both the Knicks (like we’ve always have) and the Heat. Pretty sure it was a younger team that swept D.Wade in the playoffs the year after they won their Championship.

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