Today on "The Dan Patrick Show," Patrick welcomed Dan Le Batard, a sportswriter from Miami. Le Batard has learned quite a bit about LeBron James since he arrived in Miami four years ago. Now that one of his main story topics has left Miami for Cleveland, Le Batard had his opinions to share about LeBron.
Above all, Le Batard believes this was more of a brilliant public relations move than a basketball move by LeBron. The television special that aired on ESPN four years ago brought a lot of criticism to James. However, the use of narrative to make LeBron’s most recent announcement was received with more positivity.
On a less positive note, Le Batard also claims LeBron may have misled the Heat while he was making his decision. The Heat were signing new players to play with LeBron, then watched him decide to return to Cleveland. Le Batard believes LeBron’s agent Paul Rich may have been telling the Heat that LeBron was coming back all along, only to have that turn out not to be the case.
In fact, Le Batard went on to say Pat Riley’s challenge to LeBron to stay with the Heat worked in favor of the Cavaliers instead. Yet, LeBron’s move may have also been influenced by the deterioration of the Heat. Le Batard stated that players such as Dwyane Wade, Ray Allen and Shane Battier were not the same players that competed in the 2013 NBA Finals. Instead, they began to show their age. Pat Riley tried to bring in the younger players such as Greg Oden and Michael Beasley, but it might not have been enough for LeBron.
Although a group of Heat fans are bitter about James leaving, Le Batard informed Miami that they should be nothing be grateful. Essentially, LeBron went to Miami as a loan. James helped the Heat reach the Finals all four years he was there and won two championships as well. In Le Batard’s eyes, he gave Miami those two championships.
Lastly, Le Batard questioned when and why LeBron actually made the decision to head back to Cleveland, or when he knew he wouldn’t be returning to Miami. In his narrative in "Sports Illustrated," LeBron tells us he wants to bring just one championship to Cleveland. However, Le Batard questions the existence of other motives unshared by LeBron James in moving back to Cleveland. Furthermore, Le Batard said he would be interested in learning when LeBron made his decision not to re-sign with Miami.
Regardless, with LeBron James in Cleveland, Le Batard will no longer be covering the King in South Beach.