No shortage of opinions about whether the Celtics should even consider bringing LeBron James to Boston, however remote a possibility that may be. The fan reaction to a story that the free agent to be will meet with the Celtics this offseason has been overwhelmingly anti-LeBron, which is kind of shocking considering he’s, you know, the best Basketball player in the world. We posed the question to our CLNS Basketball experts to get their take on whether they want to see King James wearing Celtic Green next season.
Mike Petraglia | CLNS Celtics Insider: Don’t do it. Don’t bring LeBron James to Boston. He has been the best and most dominating player on the planet for the past decade. He single-handedly carried the Cavs to the Finals. But the Celtics should be focusing on their incredibly bright future with Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum and putting LeBron on this roster takes too much of the focus and design of the offense away from them and puts it on King James. Before the arrival of Brown, Tatum and Kyrie and Hayward, the time would’ve been perfect for LeBron’s championship pedigree and leadership. But that’s not what the Celtics need now. What they need for a decade-run of dominance like Golden State is for their mid-20s players to take over, assuming full control and leadership.
Adam Kaufman | Host Celtics Beat Podcast: Do I want LeBron James in Boston? If you’ve followed me on Twitter lately, you’d probably assume yes. The answer’s no, and it’s a hard no, but not because I have this unreasonable level of hatred most share in my notifications. If Danny Ainge believes LeBron would make the Celtics better, so do I. But, like many of you, I respect what Ainge has built without him: a group that, when healthy, is already a contender, with more depth and a longer championship window than acquiring The King would allow. It seems insane to suggest the C’s don’t need a superstar of LeBron’s caliber to ascend to the next level, but they don’t. It’s a wacky place to live.
Jimmy Toscano | Celtics Reporter Metro Boston/CLNS: I’ve gone back and forth on it a million times. On one hand, of course he immediately makes the Celtics a championship contender. On the other, the Celtics already are a championship contender. Also, if LeBron comes to Boston, what were the last 10 years? So Celtics fans’ arch nemesis is now their hero? Was any of this real?! It just doesn’t feel right. That being said, any team that ends up with LeBron will be better for it – and most likely the best in the NBA (he ain’t joining the Magic, folks). And that means that team will be a major threat to the Celtics’ championship hopes for the next few years. By signing LeBron themselves, the Celtics can prevent that threat and feel extremely confident in going to the NBA Finals each of those years. Could you get past the fact that it’s LeBron who brought you Banner 18? It’s heart vs. brain. I’m choosing brain. Rivalry be damned – sign LeBron, raise a few banners, and then let Jayson Tatum run the show.
John Zannis | CLNS Director of Content: Guys are we really talking about this? This is the reverse Durant here. Can’t beat em, sign em? And for what a Championship, maybe? If Boston wins it all with LeBron James I got news for you it’s not the Celtics 18th title, it’s LeBron’s 4th. He owns it. The Celtics are just a footnote at the tail end of his legacy. Me, My, I. Not interested.
Josue Pavon | CLNS Celtics Beat Reporter: The Celtics found their identity this season and have enough talent to bring home championship No. 18 to the most storied franchise in the league. So, why rock the boat? C’mon, Kyrie Irving proved to be the perfect leader for this young team — one that rallied behind Gordon Hayward and his road to recovery. Celtics also have two bright stars in Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown — let them continue to be great, Danny and see how it all unfolds. Unless we’re talking Anthony Davis with the right trade package… but that’s a different discussion for another day.
Chris Grenham | SB Nation: LeBron James is the best player in the world, and if he’s considering Boston as a potential landing spot, yes, you take a meeting with him. HOWEVER, that doesn’t mean I want him in a Celtics uniform. To acquire James, Boston would have to move some valuable pieces of their young core, and the idea of that makes me sick. I know it sounds crazy to say that I don’t want one of the best players of all time, but I really would rather keep this core together. Bringing in LeBron requires a system overhaul, and that doesn’t sound all that appealing. This whole situation is highly unlikely anyways, but if it becomes a real possibility, count me out.
Jacob Tobey | CLNS Celtics Analyst: No! Absolutely not. LeBron has been enemy number one in Boston’s eyes for almost the last decade. To then welcome home with open arms because you couldn’t beat him? Pathetic. I want to see this Celtics team, lead by what Danny Ainge has built, beat James either if he stays in the east, or heads out west (assuming his new team and Boston would meet in the finals). Ainge has since rebuilt the Celtics to championship form, and with young stars like Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown growing up right in front of our eyes, with Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward on their way back from injuries, and with veteran Al Horford, that is enough to dethrone the King. The Celtics can beat him, and they will beat him next year. Don’t waste your time with James and the attention that he will bring and demand here in the Bean.
Mike Walsh | CLNS NBA Content Coordinator: As one tries to move away from the jersey-wearing, pronoun we-using level of fandom, there are different avenues for rooting interest. I’ve very much become of fan of how the Boston Celtics conduct their business from ownership on down. This is the most or second most stable organization in the NBA. Because of that, I truly believe they have been able to avoid the pitfalls of this current 76ers disaster, the other 80 percent of the league that can’t get out of its own way, and even successful places like Toronto, San Antonio and Cleveland, which have brought their own drama.So, would I want the team I follow most closely to bring in the most drama-fueling basketball player on the planet? No.
Becoming a fan of the way this franchise has been run is at odds with being a fan of laundry. LeBron James may be an automatic ticket to the NBA Finals for a few years, and the common perception is that all Boston fans care about is titles. However, selling out everything one has been preaching and building towards over the last five years for a quick-fix to a not-broken entity is a sham. That is not what has kept me a fan of the Wyc Grousbeck-Danny Ainge era for so long.
Did I want Alex Rodriguez on the Red Sox as a kid? No, because I was a blind fan of my childhood hero, Nomar Garciaparra (#NomarWasBetter).
Do I want LeBron James on the Celtics as an adult? No, because I’m wiser and principled. The Celtics should be too.