In a span of 27 eyeball glazing minutes on ESPN, LeBron James morphed himself from potentially "The Greatest Player of All Time" into a jezebel Scottie Pippen.
I don't follow the NBA closely enough to know, but the superficial answers would have been (1) Go to NYC for the money or (2) Go to Chicago for the long-term run at championships. I'm not sure what goal Miami satisfies.
The most interesting question is whether or not players are allowed to formally collude in the way in which it seems James, Wade, Bosh, and possibly Paul may have. (The operative word here is "formally," not "collude." Players informally collude all the time.) Owners almost certainly couldn't act this way without running afoul of anti-trust. Legally, I suspect the players are fine--although I'd love to hear a smart lawyer's thoughts on the matter.
From the league's perspective, however, this might not be fine. It will be interesting to see how the owners--and eventually the league office--deal with this affair.
Update: If you want to know the difference between LeBron and Jordan, here's Exhibit 1,422: LeBron says that in a game of one-on-one against Barack Obama, Obama would hold his own. Now obviously, James is just being polite. That's fine.
But the exchange calls to mind this story, from a long-ao profile of Dan Patrick:
After game three of last year's NBA finals, Dan Patrick interviews Michael Jordan. When they finish, Jordan says to Patrick, "Stand up."
"Stand up," Jordan demands, rising.
Patrick stands up.
"How would you guard me?" Jordan asks.
"I wouldn't guard you. I couldn't guard you."
"How would you guard me?"
Patrick plants a forearm on Jordan's back.
"Yeah," Jordan snarls. "There are twenty-eight motherfucking teams that think they can guard me that way."
Patrick says, "Michael, I can't guard you. But I don't think you can guard me." Jordan, gaping and speechless, walks away.
"You should've seen the look on his face," Patrick says now. Ahmad Rashad comes up to Patrick later to say that if Dan wants to go one-on-one with M. J., Jordan's willing. "Just understand," Rashad tells Patrick, "Michael will treat it like it's the seventh game of the finals--you won't even get your shot off."
Florida=no state income tax.
LeBron can domicile anywhere he wants. He doesn't have to play for Miami to get the benefits of the FL income tax system.
I thought I read somewhere that NBA players pay state income taxes in every state they play in. So playing 41 games in FL equals a state income tax savings substantial enough to potentially impact where a player chooses to sign. Bosh certainly had to consider this given his previous outspoken displeasure with playing in Canada.
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