When Miami Heat sensation LeBron James declared he would opt out of his contract for the remaining year earlier this week, it sent a whirlwind through the basketball world. Every team, whether they currently have enough cap space or would have to completely overhaul their roster, envisioned themselves with the league’s best player, and it sent shivers through fans everywhere. Signing James wouldn’t just change how a team looks — it would almost automatically turn them into a contender. Even the 15-67 Milwaukee Bucks would likely be a playoff team if James were to wind up there (he’ll most definitely choose a big-market team, though; sorry, Milwaukee).
While the news of James opting out seemed like the biggest thing the NBA’s heard since Jordan announced he was playing baseball, it doesn’t necessarily mean he’s taking his talents away from South Beach. He could still very well stay with Miami — albeit under a new contract — and continue to make history there. The Heat need to give him a new and probably better contract, but he chose Miami in 2010 for a reason: Pat Riley and the team just need to remind him why.
Whatever the superstar decides, it will cause quite a stir when he finally makes a decision. Now that the draft has happened and free agency starts on July 1, there’s no doubt that potential suitors will be lining up to try and sell James on why he should play for them. At this point, James and his camp haven’t revealed even a smidgeon as to what he plans to do – it’s anybody’s guess. But here are three reasons that James will take his talents elsewhere in the 2014-2015 season.
This works both ways. As many Cleveland fans found out in 2010, James isn’t exactly the most loyal person. He was a hometown hero, born and raised in Akron, Ohio, and everybody thought he’d never leave. He did. James had failed to win a title in Cleveland and clearly thought that taking his talents to South Beach would allow him to do just that. He was right. Two championships later, he’s back in the driver’s seat for his future. If you say he won’t leave Miami because of loyalty, that’s just ridiculous. He’s been there for just four years — that’s the length of a full collegiate career.
LeBron showed his true colors in his decision to leave Cleveland in 2010. But do you really blame him for wanting to get paid more, play in a bigger market, and win titles? If he was willing to take on a Benedict Arnold-esque status in Cleveland (where you’d think he’d be most loyal) to win, do you believe that he’ll think twice about leaving Miami for the same reasons? He will not — that’s a sure thing.