The NBA offseason hasn’t even gotten underway but rumors have already begun flying around the cosmos at ludicrous speed. The most recent nugget was delivered by ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith who vomited out the Celtics name among the several teams that free agent to be LeBron James will talk to this offseason.
Whether there’s any semblance of truth to this is beside the point. Because the conversation quickly went away from can the Celtics get him (probably not) and morphed into ‘do you even want him?’ And based on the finger in the air test and a quick perusal of Celtics Twitter the answer is a resounding no.
Responsible basketball minded media types responded with shock and awe and were kind enough to point out that this is LeBron-freaking-James we’re talking about and he is in fact very good at Basketball. Which is true. He’s the best, but he’s just awful.
The only thing crazier than thinking LeBron James will land with the #Celtics is the response from C's fans saying, "PASS."
If you're a Celts fan and LeBron actually joined Boston, you'd be thrilled. Ecstatic. Don't lie to yourself.
— Adam Kaufman (@AdamMKaufman) June 6, 2018
Yeah, who would want a guy who is basically an amalgam of Michael Jordan and Magic Johnson? https://t.co/NK6HgckgEr
— Chad Finn (@GlobeChadFinn) June 6, 2018
When you welcome LeBron James into your organization you’re not just joining forces with him, you are becoming him. LeBron doesn’t just blend in with what you’re doing. He dominates, completely taking over the host organism leaving nothing but a hollowed out shell in his wake. It would still say Celtics on the front of the jersey but don’t kid yourself, you are now the Boston LeBrons.
By now the internet has provided all the reasons why Celtics fans don’t want LeBron.
- All the ceaseless drama and histrionics.
- The insufferable “I, Me, My” press conferences.
- Halting the development of Boston’s beloved young wings Jayson Tatum & Jaylen Brown who – along with everyone else on the floor – would be reduced to spot-up shooters.
- What it means for Kyrie Irving who hates LeBron with the fire of 1000 suns. Even taking a meeting with James this offseason may send Kyrie right off the edge of this flat earth of ours.
- He is a notorious coach killer (and we love our coach.) Do you really want to see LeBron ignore, undermine and emasculate Brad Stevens on a nightly basis? Then talk about what he needs to do better to get his team prepared after losses?
- He holds your franchise hostage by signing short term deals. Then becomes your defacto GM (and we love our GM) forcing you trade away your assets (and we love our assets) for only LeBron approved players. Who do you want making the deals LeBron or Trader Danny [Ainge]?
- With LeBron you have a 2-3 year window to win, max. With the current core it’s 5-10.
- The cost. Bringing James here probably means sign and trade and to put together a LeBron worthy package and move the necessary money around means dismantling this roster completely. To match salary you’re looking at either one of the trio of Gordon Hayward/Kyrie Irving/Al Horford, Marcus Morris’s expiring contract, possibly one of the kids and any future pick worth a damn. Still wanna do it?
As ridiculous as this sounds, LeBron needs the Celtics more than they need him. The massive roster reconstruction it would take to bring James here may leave the C’s with less than what they started. At 100% health this lineup – even without LeBron – is the clear favorite to come out of the East next season and a legitimate challenger to the soon to be NBA Champion Golden State Warriors. I mean we’ve only seen the starting five of Horford, Tatum, Hayward, Brown, Irving for a total five minutes. Let’s take this thing out for a spin and see what it can do.
And honestly, what is it you’re hoping to see? Even if LeBron does end up in Boston and the Celtics win a title (maybe) it doesn’t belong to the Celtics or to you. It’s his. He will hijack your joy. Fall to the floor crying, all the cameras only on him and molest the Larry O’Brien trophy wearing Celtics Green. We’ve seen it. This is just the last stop on the LeBron James personal gratification tour. You may as well raise banner 18 at his $23 million mansion in LA.
Admittedly this is only a stance that can be taken in a place like Boston with a team like the Celtics. You can never celebrate enough titles but – for me at least – it’s as much about the journey as it is the final destination. We saw that during the Celtics improbable playoff run. Joining forces with James at this point is essentially the reverse Durant. If you can’t beat him, sign him. It’s you and your four buddies on the playground, he’s been kicking your butt for the last 8 years but he’s starting to tire, you know you can beat him and you’ve got next.
Thanks but no thanks LeBron. You’re obviously the best player of this and maybe any generation, but you can take your talents elsewhere. We’ll stick with what we’ve got.