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Old 04-21-2009, 12:44 PM
stevo stevo is offline
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Default Several reasons for LeBron to stay

Several reasons for LeBron to stay

BY MATTHEW HORN
Sports writer

Many Cleveland fans are nervous LeBron James will leave the Cavaliers as a free agent in 2010.

James is a 6-foot, 8-inch, 270-ish pound physical specimen that often does what he pleases venturing to the rim and creating shots.

James averaged 28.4 points, 7.6 rebounds, 7.2 assists, 1.7 steals and 1.1 blocks during the just completed regular season. He missed only one game as several Cavaliers rested during the final home contest.

Teams such as the New York Knicks are rumored to be creating cap room to put themselves in position to woo the transcendent star. And the free agent departures of Manny Ramirez, Jim Thome, Carlos Boozer and others don't exactly instill confidence James will remain a Cleveland treasure.

But there are several reasons James should remain with the Cavaliers.

For starters, James grew up in Akron. Ohio is his kingdom and James would be a mercenary anywhere else.

Second, the Cavaliers look like a family when they interact. The comfort level and unity are obvious with James' impromptu pregame photo sessions or when the team danced together on the sideline during a blowout victory over Boston this month.

The Cleveland fans seem to sense the bonds and do their best to share in the fun at The Q, where the Cavaliers lost only two games this season. The combination leads to a special atmosphere.

Third, Cleveland had the best record in the NBA during the regular season at 66-16 to gain home court advantage throughout the playoffs. They defeated Detroit on Saturday for a 1-0 series lead.

James might get more exposure in New York, Los Angeles or Chicago. But how much exposure does King James need?

He'll get paid handsomely whether he stays or leaves. And with a Sports Illustrated cover labeling him the Chosen One in high school, an appearance in the NBA Finals two years ago and an Olympic gold medal, James is already a bit famous.

Plus, there's no guarantee James' new destination would have the makeup of a championship contender, even if that team also attracts another big name player.

James is a six-year veteran most often compared to Oscar Robertson and Michael Jordan for his versatility and his ability to take over a game. He is likely to win his first MVP this season.

James has unparalleled vision on the court and a willingness to share. And his game has taken a giant leap on the defensive end as he now has a significant impact in that area as well.

James is Cleveland's unquestioned leader, which is no easy role to develop. His teammates and coach appear to trust him, and James believes in them, particularly Mo Williams.

Cleveland captured its last title in any major sport in 1964 and fans have been conditioned to expect the worst. Maybe winning a title this season would mean James returns to the Cavaliers when his contract expires -- and coming close couldn't hurt.

James should and is entitled to do whatever it is he wants as a free agent.

How can that not be Cleveland?

Several reasons for LeBron to stay | portclintonnewsherald.com | Port Clinton News Herald
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