If there’s anything to take away from what you’re about to read, it’s that. LeBron isn’t a puppet. He is the one pulling the strings. He is the one making the decisions.
He is the one who decided to leave the Miami Heat for the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Much has been made of his return. Too much. Reports have cropped up like odorous old men at a bingo tournament. Speculation is still running wild in the aftermath of his decision, some of which is actually questioning whether it was his decision.
Speaking with ESPN.com’s Jason Whitlock on the Real Talk podcast, LeBron’s business partner, Maverick Carter, revealed all talk of King James’ decision being molded by his support team as just that—worthless babble:
This was a decision that LeBron made in his heart. We didn’t push him to do it. We don’t push him to do anything. If he asks our opinion or what did we think about the pros and the cons, we help him think through it. We don’t push him.
Listen, LeBron’s a 29-year-old man with lots of money, got a wife, two kids, one on the way. He makes his own decisions. He doesn’t need anyone pushing him any way, and a guy like that, you’re not going to push him either way. We’ll help him think through things and help him see through things, but he makes his own decision in his heart. Because, ultimately, he has to live with it. I’m not the one who has to show up and play games for any team.
This is intriguing. And unnecessary. Well, it’s necessary. But it should be unnecessary.
Of course this was LeBron’s decision. How could it not be? After the letter Cavs owner Dan Gilbert wrote about him in 2010? After the backlash he received for joining forces with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh?
After all he’s been through since entering the NBA in 2003?
The best basketball player on the planet isn’t about to let others, no matter how close he is to them or how much he trusts them, make a decision like this for him. He won’t even let them steer him in one direction. Maybe they can help him pick out which socks to wear or what he should have for dinner (chicken, corn, mashed potatoes and gravy and garlic toast; BOOM), but they’re not hand-selecting a free-agent destination. No way, no how.
Discussions that entertain the contrary are ludicrous. I probably wouldn’t even have considered this a viable topic back in 2010, when LeBron was still in his mid-20’s, a boy in so many aspects who lacked the ability to understand the gravity of his situation. Not even then do I believe he was coaxed or steered into joining the Heat. He’s smarter than that. He’s better than that. And it’s smart of Carter to nip this in the bud now, before shit hits the fan.
The Cavs are going to struggle at some point next season. It’s inevitable. And when they do, ardent naysayers no longer have this baseless storyline to fall back on.
LeBron is a man—a grown-ass adult fully capable of making his own life-changing decisions.
In case you didn’t know, now you do.
Dan Favale is a firm believer in the three-pointer as well as the notion that defense doesn’t always win championships. His musings can be found at Bleacherreport.com in addition to TheHoopDoctors.com.