LeBron James has a decision to make. Personally, I love when LeBron makes decisions. Watching easily agitated people completely combust over a guy they don’t know making a choice that doesn’t affect them is hilarious to me. Especially when they ignore the fact that LeBron raised over $3 million for Boys and Girls Club in the process.
So here we are, four years later and LeBron has the option to walk away from the remainder of his contract with the Miami Heat and play elsewhere. He’s played in five NBA championships, including four in a row since joining the Heat. He’s 29 years old, and if he wanted, he could walk away from basketball altogether, having earned $130 million in salary (and more than double that amount in endorsement deals).
So what should King James do next? Well, since he’s thinking it over while on vacation with his family, I figured I’d do some of the legwork, and provide him some options.
8) Go Home to Cleveland
Don’t do it. Here’s an all-caps quote from your former team’s owner the day you left, in case you forgot:
“I PERSONALLY GUARANTEE THAT THE CLEVELAND CAVALIERS WILL WIN AN NBA CHAMPIONSHIP BEFORE THE SELF-TITLED FORMER ‘KING’ WINS ONE.”
That guy sucks. So does Cleveland. Don’t do it.
7) Stay in Miami
This is a no-brainer. You’ve been to four straight championships. The Eastern conference stinks. You’ll keep going to championships, and you might win a few of them. You might not go a perfect 6/6 like Michael Jordad did, but Magic won 5 of 9, and people seem to like him just fine… well, except Donald Sterling.
6) Babysit My Kids
Think about it LeBron. It’d be a part-time gig so you could totally focus on other projects. We have HBO and Netflix, as well as a fully stocked pantry. My guys can get kind of wild sometimes, but disciplining them shouldn’t be an issue for you. I’ve seen the way you yell at Mario Chalmers. That should be enough to keep them in line.
5) The Movie Business
Playing alongside Chris Bosh, You’ve technically been starring in Jurassic Park 4 for the last four seasons. It was rumored earlier this year that Warner Bros was looking to make Space Jam 2 with you in the leading role– if you do go that route, I have a few plot suggestions for you. First- you need to quit basketball like Michael did so that Bugs and company can convince you to come back (If you need a temporary gig, see #6). Second, when the Looney Tunes are putting their team together to battle the MonStars, demand that the Animaniacs get a spot on the roster. The movie won’t work if your real life team with Chris “Birdman” Anderson looks more cartoonish than your actual cartoon team. Last, when the MonStars steal talent from NBA players, tell them to stay away from Carmelo Anthony. His talent is tempting, but no one’s gonna watch a movie with 35+ fadeaway jumpers.
4) Michael Jordan’s Shadow
It was recently reported that His Airness’ net worth eclipsed $1 billion. Like any billionaire, MJ has started to develop some paranoid quirks– namely he’s afraid of his own shadow. The greatest to ever play is looking to pay someone handsomely to stand directly between him and his shadow whenever possible. Given your unique qualifications of metaphorically existing there for the last 11 years, how much of a change could it be to literally spend your time in Michael Jordan’s shadow?
3) First Take (ESPN)
Skip Bayless gets paid around $500,000 annually by ESPN to use a morning show platform to talk about how much you suck at basketball. Assuming ESPN is paying Bayless for his personal expertise, and that Bayless averaged 1.4 points per game as a senior in high school, that would mean that each point per game averaged is worth $357,000 per year. Since your career average at the professional level is 25.1 points per game, that would make your annual worth to ESPN around $9 million. Think about it- all you have to do is tell people how terrible you are, and how awesome an unemployed Tim Tebow is. You’ve totally got this.
2) President of the United States
Presidential campaigns in the country last about two years for some reason. If you start now, you’ll totally have a month or two head start on the competition. Plus, if you run as a Republican, you are guaranteed to be the frontrunner for at least a few weeks during the process. What’s the worst that could happen? You win, and everyone incessantly criticizes you and tells you that you’re no good at your job? That already happens on the basketball court. I know that you’re not technically old enough, but you look 50, and as long as no one asks to see your birth certificate… oh wait, never mind.
I’ll make this simple. The Suns won six less games than your Miami Heat did last year. If you left the Heat, would they even go .500? The Suns are young, and they have tons of salary cap space. Plus, they’ve never won a title, and they hate the Spurs just as much as you do. As everyone knows, Arizona is a great place to retire. I know you’re probably soaked in disappointment after losing in the finals to San Antonio… think of the Phoenix Suns as a “dry Heat.” (Also… since you’ll be in town…. see #6)