To the naked eye for every non-Miami Heat basketball fan, it seemed as if the chances of their team improving or excelling to becoming the best team in the NBA was rather slim shortly after 9:00 P.M Thursday night.
LeBron James' publicity-filled free agency journey ended then with an hour-long special on ESPN, when the man named 'The King' announced that he would cap off the most talented free agency market by signing with the Miami Heat, along with Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade, making South Beach the most popular place to visit this coming fall.
With the announcement, many fans are quick to criticize James with taking the easy way out--stating that he will never live among the greats such as Michael Jordan and Larry Bird, who battled through the tough stages of their careers before raising several championship trophies in Chicago and Boston, respectivley.
Still, give James some credit. He did, after all, work his way through seven years in Cleveland, a city with practically no recent sports credibillity--all while just graduating high school.
However, we are not hear to talk about the Cleveland Cavaliers.
It is reportered that LeBron James signed a five year deal, although I cannot seem to track down the amount of money.
Although five years does seem like a long time, there is a catch. There is an 'opt-out' option after a third year, an oppurtunity for James to pursue his career elsewhere.
For Nets fans and even some others, it all points to the then-Brooklyn Nets.
Think about it. In three years, James will or will not have a championship ring on his finger. If he does, which is very likely, then he may look to further his career in the media, and there's no better place to start then to team up with Jay-Z, the part owner of the New Jersey Nets.
If he hasn't won a ring in Miami, a move to the Nets might be the perfect fix. The Nets will have moved to Brooklyn by then, be two years removed from the worst season in franchise history, meaning they will likely be much better, and James might be the missing piece to their puzzle.
We all know LeBron James isn't just about basketball--being involved in the media is a big part of his life.
He couldn't even announce where he would play without having ESPN appear and make an hour-long special about it. I doubt he would turn down an oppurtunity to tour with Jay-Z and have Mikkali Prokhorov turn him into an international icon.
Clearly, win or lose, the Nets seem to be the front-runners for the next LeBron showcase three years down the road.