San Antonio Spurs guard Tony Parker (9) and Miami Heat forward LeBron James (6) collide during the second half of Game 6 of their NBA Finals basketball series, Tuesday, June 18, 2013 in Miami. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)
Last Modified: Monday, July 07, 2014 11:52 AM
The chase for LeBron is back on.
Stop me if you have heard this before, but LeBron James is a free agent.
The rest of the NBA is in limbo while several teams hopeful of winning his services for the next few years court the king.
After turning the Miami Heat into must-see TV for pro basketball followers James opted out of his final year with the club.
There is a good chance he will resign with Miami for more money and more years. It would make sense because this club has become his team.
Four straight trips to the Finals and two championships isn’t a bad reason to stay.
However, with each passing day the odds that James may take his talents out of South Beach become greater and greater.
He wants to win more titles.
That’s what happens when you chase a ghost.
James wants to win more titles than Michael Jordan, the gold standard in basketball greatness for this modern generation.
Jordan won six championships and lost none. James has two titles and three defeats in the Finals.
It’s amazing how we never heard Tim Duncan proclaim he was opting out of his contract in San Antonio to chase rings. Then again, he looks to be in the best shape of anybody now to catch Jordan, having won his fifth last year.
Maybe staying put and building your own dream team is better.
No question James has the right to go in any direction the NBA winds and mega bucks take him. Could be Los Angeles, Houston, Miami or maybe even a surprise like Phoenix. He has the talent to put just about any team into contention just by signing his name on the dotted line.
Trouble is, Jordan, Duncan and other big names who have left their mark with championships in the league never jumped ship at the first sign of water.
James has already left his home team in Cleveland and now could do the same in Miami.
All of Magic Johnson’s titles came in L.A., the same with Kobe Bryant. Duncan has done his damage in one city as well.
Those players have found ways to make their own team the place others want to come to win. Not so with James.
He is in danger of becoming a basketball mercenary, a hired gun willing to fight for the highest bidder.
For him, the grass seems greener wherever he is not at the present time.
And the rest of the league is waiting for his next big decision.
Other free agents have been put on hold for both James and his understudy, Carmelo Anthony.
There isn’t any team that would not throw just about any of their current players under the bus to get a shot at James first and Anthony second.
The Houston Rockets even made up huge posters of Anthony in one of their No. 7 jerseys. Problem is they already have a player on their roster who wears No. 7, Jeremy Lin. Of course if Anthony is coming Lin is surely going.
We can blame LeBron for this.
He is the one four summers ago who created this title chase by building a “big 3” in Miami with his buddies Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh. He even had his own television prime time special on ESPN so the world could watch his decision.
And watch we did as if it was some presidential announcement or new reality show.
Now it is time again for James to decide the future of the NBA.
All eyes in the league are on him until he finally picks a winner.
Then the rest of the NBA can get on with its business.
It is high drama that is unworthy of a real king.
Jim Gazzolo is managing sports editor. Email him at email@example.com