“The King” has made his decision – and while the process was drawn out and watered down in many ways, the overall aftermath from LeBron James’ decision to join the Miami Heat is still very major – and affects many players, fans and teams throughout the country.
In particular, here’s who I feel to be the WINNERS and LOSERS from LeBron’s decision to bolt Ohio for South Beach – in the form of a TWHS “Sexy Seven”, featuring seven on each list:
Winners and Losers from LeBron James’ Decision to Join Miami Heat
Pat Riley – “Riles” proves he’s still got it – being able to lure LeBron to Miami, putting together a super trio base of stars. Miami still has some work to do adding depth and bodies to the Heat roster.
LeBron James – It’s a rollercoaster day for King James, and while he’ll certainly leave a hefty chunk of change on the table in exchange for joining Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh – Miami immediately becomes the potential favorites to not just win an NBA title, but start up a new dynasty.
Chris Broussard – The ESPN NBA analyst nailed the report leading up to LeBron’s big decision, all when there were a number of rumors flying across multiple cities that were in the mix.
Stephen A. Smith – Days ago, Smith discussed on The Dan Patrick Show that Bosh, Wade and James would wind up in Miami – and that it was basically “done”. At the time, that description seemed very extreme, but Smith turned out to be correct – and has earned bragging rights.
Chris Bosh – Another obvious choice, as Bosh goes from being the lone star on a Canadian team, to joining two superstars in South Beach.
ESPN – Certainly, there are a lot of critics of the coverage and the handling of the situation, but in the end – LeBron and Co. approached the worldwide leader to put together an hour-long special, and ESPN is certainly reaping the benefits in the form of ratings, website PV’s and so on.
Byron Scott – Hey Byron, welcome to Cleveland – you’re superstar is heading south. Umm, is that assistant job still available in La-La land? Can anyone say out clause?
Adam Morrison – No player in recent years had an easier road to 2 NBA championships – while barely contributing at all. Now, there’s a super trio of Wade, Bosh and LeBron in Miami? C’mon now – we know Morrison is sensitive (see right).
Carlos Boozer – Boozer decided to head to Chicago, and while the Bulls will still be a talented group – they don’t just miss out on adding LeBron, but also now Boozer moves from the Western conference to the Eastern conference – where Miami, Boston and Orlando all play.
Amar’e Stoudemire – Same as with Boozer, Stoudemire left the West for the East – from Phoenix to New York. He adds a piece to the Knicks, but New York still has a long way to go.
The City of Cleveland – No one should feel worse than the city of Cleveland, who most certainly should feel like certain doom is ahead for each of its sports franchises. Cleveland hasn’t seen a title since 1964 – that’s almost 50 years. Right about now, it has to feel like it will be 50 more before another arrives.
New Jersey Nets – The Nets are the biggest loser of this entire offseason, as the other big names in play for LeBron at least added other major pieces to their respective rosters. The Nets’ current major signing has been Travis Outlaw, who agreed to a deal earlier Thursday.
Finally, there’s the King himself…
LeBron James – James – while also mentioned a winner – is also a loser in this situation, too. Plain and simple, his home state hates him right about now – and during ESPN’s broadcast after “The Decision”, Shelley Smith reported that, “LeBron is the second most hated person in this city, Art Modell being first.” Smith followed that statement with, “They’re very bitter.”
In addition, ESPN’s Rachel Nichols reported that many Knicks fans are now listing LeBron James as a more hated player than Reggie Miller. Yikes.
So in the end, James certainly may finally get that ring while in Miami – but he’ll pay a major price when he travels on the road to Cleveland, New York and so on.