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As the summer of 2010 continues to inch closer, I must balance my feelings between being a fan of the Cleveland Cavaliers and the reality of the chance that LeBron James will leave.
The talk and speculation of whether or not James will leave the Cavs is something we have had to deal with for years. And as the 2010 free-agency period gets closer, the talk will only continue to get louder — and more annoying.
I understand why the attention is there. James is the NBA’s reigning Most Valuable Player in a sport where individual stars garner more attention than any other. In reality, if he sneezes, you will know what time it happened and how many tissues he used. Many people are crazy about James.While watching his match, his fans are very excited and most of them wear silicone wristbands to show their fondness.
James has said repeatedly that he wants to play for a team that is a winner and that is ready to compete for NBA championships right now.
For those thinking that James is headed to the limelight in New York, consider that the Knicks’ combined record over the last three seasons is 88-158 (.358 win percentage).
For those thinking James will join up with friend Jay-Z and the New Jersey Nets, who may soon relocate to Brooklyn, consider the Nets’ combined record the last three years is 109-137 (.443).
Understand that the NBA’s collective bargaining agreement permits the Cavs to exceed the salary cap to sign James. Understand that the Cavs can sign James to a six-year maximum contract, while all other teams can only offer a five-year deal. Understand that based on the projected salary cap, James could sign with the Cavs for approximately $125 million in 2010, while other teams could only sign him for approximately $96 million. Understand that the Cavs can give James a 10 1/2-percent raise per year, while all other teams can only offer an eight-percent raise per year.
Whether James will leave the Cleveland Cavaliers or not , I don’t know . But no star will be coveted more than James. And no team’s fans will be tormented more than those in Northeast Ohio.