Sunday, June 27th, 2010 at 11:20 am  |  50 responses

LeBron Will Make Decision By His Lonesome

UPDATE: James to Bulls a done deal?

by Tzvi Twersky

Be it while doing my job or while kicking back with friends and family, I’m always asked where I think LeBron James is going to sign. Often, before I have a chance to answer, the person asking interjects with their own thoughts, usually something based on an internet rumor, and often it includes the words “Jay-Z” or “William Wesley.” On the rare occasion when I do get the chance to answer, I usually say something like, “I don’t know, and I’m pretty sure LeBron still doesn’t, either.” More than that, though, when people, be it reporters or fans, claim to know what James is planning and why, it bugs me—especially when they claim to have inside info from his “people.” Yes, LeBron has a tight circle of LRMR friends, but I’ve always felt like this decision was his alone to make.

Well, today, Brian Windhorst penned a tremendous column, debunking a lot of rumors and, ultimately, solidifying my belief that James is making the biggest decision of his young life by his lonesome.

As seen on Cleveland.com:

Over the last two years, there have been hundreds of different theories as to what LeBron James will do when his free agency finally arrives this week.

But much of it has missed the point. The biggest misunderstanding of the historic James chase is the psychology of the man himself, which is something that can only be understood by knowing him and how he attacks a problem.

This is the central tenet: The decision of where James will play will be made by James and James alone.

Not his shoe company. Not his agent. Not the other high-profile free agents. Not his business manager/best friend. Not his friend/idol/world-class rapper. Not his associate/back-channel operator. Not his mother. Not his girlfriend. Not his children. Not his uncles. Not his former coaches. Not his teammates. Not his billionaire business associates. Not a marketing plan. Not the City of Akron. Not the People’s Republic of China.

James’ personality is to decide on his own and then never look back with regret.

In his interview with Larry King earlier this month, James made it as clear as he could. It wasn’t hyped after the interview was recorded, it wasn’t featured by CNN — but it was the most salient thing James said in the hour-long conversation.

It may be the most important thing James has said in the last year when it comes to his free agency, even if it was easy to miss.

Easy unless you really know James.

“Ultimately, that one person [I listen to] is me,” James said.

It isn’t that James doesn’t listen to friends and so-called advisors. He has put people in place around him for the very purpose of getting trusted advice.

But they’ll all tell you that James doesn’t do anything he doesn’t want to do. Whether it is an interview, a charity event or a business venture, James may not do the little details, but he makes the big call.

Has this process sometimes led to mistakes? Of course it has. But James has no qualms with his belief system. One of his favorite things to say is that he doesn’t have any regrets about his major decisions.

If he stays true to himself, he won’t have any regrets about this huge decision, either.

Because he’s going to be the one to make it.

We’ll see in the coming weeks where LeBron James will land. Until then, if you ask me what’s gonna be with Bron, this will be my response:  I don’t know where James is going to land, but I strongly believe he will be piloting the plane himself.

UPDATE: According to Jonathan Abrams, who quotes an unnamed NBA executive, LeBron James may have already decided to sign with the Chicago Bulls. More from Abrams:  ”The executive, who did not want to be identified discussing a player who is not yet a free agent, said he had gathered from discussions with his fellow N.B.A.executives that James was strongly leaning toward joining the Bulls in tandem with another free agent, Chris Bosh of the Toronto Raptors. ’I think it’s a done deal,’ the executive said. He said he thought James was going ahead with the meetings in Ohio ‘to be respectful to all these teams who jumped through these hoops,’ a reference to the clubs, like the Knicks, who traded reasonably talented players like Jamal Crawford the last two seasons in an effort to open up as much salary-cap space as possible. But if James and Bosh are indeed going to Chicago, moves like the ones the Knicks made will have been done at least partly in vain. The executive also said that the Dallas Mavericks were trying to join the Ohio meetings with James.”

Can it really be over before it even starts? I don’t know about you, but I’m not holding my breath.

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  • http://www.slamonline.com James the Balla

    lol congratulations!!

  • The Philosopher

    ‘Making the decision by his lonesome’. That’s what kings do… because they CAN.

  • http://twitter.com/HarryByrdMan44 LA Huey

    Listen to Rose, Noah, and a real crowd awaiting at the United Center

  • Unstoppable

    will not be Chi-town

  • http://t0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:Xai88DrYsAhqiM:http://a.espncdn.com/media/apphoto/b8ad869b-bb74-4ba0-89b5-857787be7ba6.jpg Jackie Moon

    Good for him. This is a defense against a phantom person who say that Lebron won’t make his own decision. I don’t know anyone who is saying that his handlers will make the decision for him.

  • http://www.bulls.com Enigmatic

    WILL be Chi-town. And if not, oh well, we still got Rose, Noah, Deng, plus we’ll still get superstar A and superstar B. No other team in the hunt can claim that.

  • http://TheNoLookPass.Com Rey Moralde

    I hope he signs the day free agency starts.

    I’m not holding my breath for that one, either. LeBron will milk this for its worth. And quite frankly, I don’t blame him.

  • Yesse

    Just stop this LeBron thing already and when he makes a contract, then you can maybe tell me because i don’t care. If i said it too polite, i mean “i do not give a f*ck”.

  • http://banksitin.blogspot.com/ vmcb

    If LeBron and Bosh go the Bulls, with the team as already constructed, they might as well start playing the parade.

  • http://banksitin.blogspot.com/ vmcb

    or maybe even planning.

  • http://bleacherreport.com/users/42594-hoops4life Overtime

    Do you think the fact that they are the Bulls plays a part…as in Lebron does/doesn’t wanna be even more compared to MJ, chase a few of his franchise records?

  • The D Train

    The whole “where there’s smoke there is usually fire” concept makes me cautiously optimistic as a Bulls fan. That being said, I would not be the least bit surprised if Lebron signs with Miami, Cleveland, or NY and not Chicago. If him and Bosh were to sign in Chicago, I would love to see them sign Redick to play the 2. A lineup of Rose, SG-to-be-named, Lebron, Bosh and Noah would be a bit short on outside shooting since neither Rose or Lebron are long-range snipers. I don’t think that signing Bosh and Lebron would leave them any money to fill out the rest of their roster, so not sure what they would do. Not having a legit three-point threat would be a serious fly in the ointment.

  • CelticzBae

    who cares where he goes anymore…. its gettin annoyin. He is overrated. King wit NO ring. i hate 2 say this but Kobe is wayy betta than him.

  • The Philosopher

    The D Train @3:30p.m. Very interesting, in my opinion. That whole statement.

  • dino

    Who says the Bulls will use ALL their cap space on Bron & Bosh.

  • http://www.hibachi20.blogspot.com BETCATS

    I expect Lebron to sign either here or NJ. I dont think Miami has a real shot at him. My wild card team is Dallas, because Mark Cuban is crazy enough to do it.

  • C-Lo-The-Great

    @ dino
    they would have to they only have about 30-31 mill in cap sace if the hinrich deal goes through and still not enough for 2 max contracts at the estimated 16mill/year for bosh and lbj only way this goes through is if 1 or both take a little bit less and our front office convinces whoever takes the lesser amount that he/they make it up in endorsements
    this is unrelated but is portland still high on rudy fernandez and GO? should trade them to bulls for deng !!!!! could happen since there making irrational decisions (Kevin Pritchard)

  • The D Train

    Just got done listening to Chad Ford on the Simmons podcast and he’s also saying that Chi is the heavy favorite to land LBJ and that Bosh is probably going wherever Lebron goes. The thing is, all the reports are coming back the same. At some point I’d almost expect Lebron’s people to come out and say something along the lines of “nothing’s been decided.” If there is no response at all, I’d say the silence would be deafening to Cavs and Knicks fans. Some of the stuff Ford was talking about in regards to how much Lebron loves MJ, and would love to step into his shoes at the United Center, well it definitely shines a different light on the “he wouldn’t want to be in MJ’s shadow” theory. All in all, I enjoy the arm-chair quarterbacking, simply because my favorite team is emerging as the favorite to sign the best, or second best player in the league. I have never cared for Lebron, but if he signs on to join Rose, Noah and Co., I will be just another in a long line of dudes hanging from Lebron’s nuts.

  • Dallas

    He’s going to the Bulls. They are trading Hinrich to make room for Bosh and LeBron. The only reason LeBron is wearing number 6 next year is because he’s going to play for the Bulls. And he can’t wear 23 in Chi, he’ll already be in the shadow of MJ why would he want the same number too. IT MAKES SENSE

  • ab_40

    he’s staying in cle. and they’re gonna do a sign and trade involving bosh. Bring in a real point williams needs to be traded and they’ll compete with orlando next season. But listen with allen and pierce coming off the books in boston don’t they have some cap space. And would they sign shaq to man the 5 for one year in boston? That would be old guys galore but hey these vets know how to play with shaq the cleveland team this year had no idea how to play with shaq. I think houston is gonna be active on the trade market as well. I know they’re injured a lot but they have what seven/eight bigs? they need to trade some of those guys, draft picks whatever. I wanna see rudy gay end up in boston. Him and Rondo would be a great fit together. KG will mold him into a man and they’ll get a great player. Over 1/3 of the nba is a free agent next thursday it’s gonna be bananas

  • http://www.twitter.com/JoshElam JE

    I bet D’Antoni really regrets choosing the Knicks over the Bulls a couple years ago, considering it was all with the summer of 2010 in mind. He could have coached actual talent for 2 years and STILL added a couple of superstars.

  • http://www.twitter.com/JoshElam JE

    @Dallas: and the fact that the number is retired…

  • http://www.threadsandkicks.com.au Eduardo

    Chicago wouldn’t be a bad fit but look at how far the Chicago organisation has gone in the Post Jordan era.

    I’m a big Chicago fan too but Chicago couldn’t seem to build a championship caliber or even playoff strong caliber team in over 10 years?

  • http://www.basketball247.co.uk Greg Tanner

    Oh the irony.

    This article says:

    “when people, be it reporters or fans, claim to know what James is planning and why, it bugs me — especially when they claim to have inside info from his ‘people’”

    …then posts an article quoting “an unnamed NBA executive” saying he’s going to the Chi!


  • Birf
  • J-Killer15

    Watch he go right back to Cleveland. He will keep the NBA free agency number one topic in sports for the month of July for David and go right back home

  • LD

    Why would Chris “the center piece” Bosh play with LeBron?

  • The Philosopher

    ^^ If The King says come play, then it shall be.

  • LD

    You are absolutely right Philosopher. Chris Bosh doesn’t have the right object to The King’s demands.

  • http://www.shawnkemp.com JACO

    thats how it should be him making the decision for himself no one else. No WORLD WIDE WES no jay-z no inner circle just him and his family.

  • Robb

    It’s not gonna be Chicago.

  • topo

    this team would lose in the first round of the playoffs

  • http://www.bulls.com Enigmatic

    Though I want LeBron to come to the Chi too, the fact that he’s changing his number to 6 shouldn’t be used as a way to indicate he’s signing with the Bulls because remember the Heat, geniuses that they are, decided to honor a player who never even played in Miami by retiring number 23 as well.

  • http://www.kb24.com The Seed

    Who cares, Lebron new team will get beat by Wade’s new team with Amare. These players need learn how to stay with a team and build it up with their play. I hope the new look Bulls with Lebron fail. BOOK IT!!!

  • DC

    @JE Good point.

  • http://www.bulls.com Enigmatic

    @The Seed – Hey,, if LeBron does sign with the Bulls, and Amare joins Wade in MIA, eff it y’all can have it next year. But in five years LeBron will be 30 and Rose will be 26 while Wade will be 33 and Stoudamire will be 32. So you tell me who’d be in better position to win more chips.

  • http://slamonline.com JL

    definitely chicago. they will be the best team with bosh and lebron. awesome team! lakers would need a healthy bynum to compete, and long term it’s all bulls!

  • http://www.hibachi20.blogspot.com Hursty

    Que 1 billion comments.
    I’m over the hype.
    If he leaves Cleveland, he’ll be hated so bad. If he doesn’t go to the Knicks/Nets anywhere else, nothing’s changed.

  • http://Twitter.com/pdxgaybball Dma

    I’m waiting for James and boozer to play in Chicago

  • http://www.slamonline.com negetivekreep

    The writting is on the wall. After getting beat by Boston in 08′ Bron was pissed. But, on a mission. Getting beat by Orlando last year, that was different. LeBron knew his team was better and should beat Orlando… Suddenly, the golden boy didn’t look soo perfect anymore. No handshake,no press confrence, “then dunkgate”, then the real underlining issue, Kobe Bryant jumping up & down in celebration after defeating Orlando for the championship. A double slap in the face! After all, it was supposed to be the LeBron/Kobe finals. Had EVERYONE sayin’ “if cleveland doesn’t win the title next year…LeBrons gone”. This season brought even greater expectations,more at stake,especially for the Cavs.But, worse result. After undeniably GIVING UP on his team in the most important game in franchise history,Is there any question as to wheather or not he’s leaving? Lebron is gone, thats not inside information that’s common sense. Chi town might be the prettiest girl in the room right now…but whoever is willing to do whatever it takes at the end of the day is going home with Bron. It ain’t over yet.

  • mAMba

    What are gonna be the excuses next year once LeBron FAILS to win a ring with two legit superstars with Rose and Bosh/Boozer/Amare? Will everyone finally figure out he is only a regular season King and post season Pauper.

  • hoodsnake

    Hes gonna team up again with Boozer in New Jersey

  • http://www.youtube.com/tripledouble TripleDouble

    He’s gonna take a season off and tour with Whitesnake. Playing bass I think.

  • http://www.dimemag.com Anton


  • mgballer3

    I agree with you about Shaq to Boston.. with the recent injury of Perk i think he would be a perfect fit. Apparently the Celtics have honed in on Brad Miller..

  • http://www.oo.com.au Dacre

    He’ll go play PF for suns.

  • Liverpool

    the King becoming a shadow of MJ? no way!

  • http://t2.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:OzhW3M1GBSKkgM:http://fashionsensei.files.wordpress.com/2008/02/jackie-moon.jpg Jackie Moon

    The lyrics to “Viva La Vida” by Coldplay seem to have been written for Lebron’s career:

    I used to rule the world
    Seas would rise when I gave the word
    Now in the morning I sleep alone
    Sweep the streets I used to own

    I used to roll the dice
    Feel the fear in my enemy’s eyes
    Listen as the crowd would sing
    “Now the old king is dead! Long live the king!”

    One minute I held the key
    Next the walls were closed on me
    And I discovered that my castles stand
    Upon pillars of salt and pillars of sand

  • http://www.twitter.com/JoshElam JE

    JUST thought of this. If LeBron signs with Miami
    like Stephen A. Smith is reporting, the cool nickname for the
    DWade-LeBron tandem should be “the 3-6 Mafia”. Because Wade is #3 and
    LeBron is #6. Get it? Do you get it?

  • NP

    Someone tell the guy above me that LeBron is #23, not #6.