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TALE OF THE TAPE

Tale Of The Tape: LeBron James Decision 1 Vs. Decision 2

“I’m going to take my talents to South Beach.” It seems like yesterday when those words came out of the mouth of LeBron James in “The Decision.” In the television program, he decided to leave his hometown Cleveland to go to Miami and play for the Heat. Well, here we go again folks. King James has decided to opt out of his contract with the Heat to become a free agent. When we all thought the Carmelo Anthony impending free agency and the Kevin Love trade rumors were enough, this NBA off-season just got a whole lot more intriguing. Let’s compare LeBron’s first decision to leave the Cavaliers to his second decision to opt out of his deal with the Heat.

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Decision 1
Decision 2
(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
LeBron James (Photo Credit: Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
LeBron James (Photo Credit: Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Miami Heat
Winner LeBron James joined Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh in their prime when he came to the Heat in 2010. Mike Miller was also a major threat from downtown. They had some key veteran pieces in Juwan Howard and Mike Bibby as well.
Wade's knees have broken down and Bosh has changed his game completely. Both players aren't superstars anymore. Ray Allen looked finished and the rest of the team didn't offer much help offensively.
Cleveland Cavaliers
Besides the likes of Zydrunas Ilgauskas, there was not much for LeBron to work with in Cleveland. Daniel "Boobie" Gibson, Larry Hughes, and Drew Gooden were the others key players on those teams. He essentially took them to the Finals singlehandedly. Those Cavs teams were awful.
Winner King James could join a young Cavs team led by star point guard Kyrie Irving. They also have the first pick in the NBA Draft, which should be either Andrew Wiggins or Jabari Parker. They also have good, young players in Dion Waiters and Tristan Thompson and will have some cap room to bring in more talent next season.
Legacy
In seven seasons with the Cavs, LeBron only made one Finals appearance, and missed the playoffs twice. Many questioned whether he could be a true winner.
Winner In four seasons with the Heat, LeBron led them to the Finals all four seasons, and won his first two championships. He's getting closer and closer to Michael Jordan. We all know he wants to reach MJ and his six championships.
Options
Winner Everyone was prepared and it seemed like everyone did make an offer to LeBron in 2010. Nobody really knew where he was going until the day of the decision. He was also still seeking a NBA championship, so he had more options.
This decision came as a bit of a surprise. Most teams are not prepared to offer enough money and talent to appease the King to come there. There's only a handful of teams that have a legitimate chance to bring him in. He's got two rings, so he wants to win more immediately.
Perception
When he made an hour-plus long program to announce his decision, he was up there as one of the most hated people in sports, and easily the most hated in Cleveland. He had more doubters than ever in 2010 when he left home to form the Big Three in Miami.
Winner Some may dislike him, but he's become the face of the NBA. He's the most talented player arguably in the history of the sport. He's got multiple rings now and has gained the respect of NBA fans.

The Winner Is

LeBron James (Photo Credit: Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Winner Decision 2
3 out of 5

King James is much pickier now that he's got two rings under his belt. He can choose amongst a handful of teams where he can win a title. With the Spurs likely only having a year left in the Tim Duncan era, the future championships could be in the grasp of LeBron. He's got the whole NBA in his hands. He's got the whole NBA in his hands. Sing along everybody.

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