Friday , Jul , 11 , 2008 Oly Sandor

Basketball or Benjamins: Will LeBron James Pick Cleveland, New York or New Jersey/Brooklyn in 2010?

Remember, the All-Star has serious goals outside of pro hoops. He’s talked of wanting to be the world’s richest man. He dines with billionaire Warren Buffett and trademarked the King James logo as a teenager. If it’s about dollars and branding, then the New York spotlight makes the most sense …

Basketball or Benjamins: Will LeBron James Pick Cleveland, New York or New Jersey/Brooklyn in 2010?Forgetting the Yankee hat incident is hard. Overlooking the Jay-Z connection is damn near impossible. Then there are his regular declarations of love for the NYC and all things Brooklyn.

You know the rumour I’m referring to. It’s common knowledge LeBron James could leave the Cleveland Cavaliers and sign with the New York Knicks or New Jersey Nets as an unrestricted free agent in summer of 2010.

Hold on. Put your Sinatra record of New York, New York on pause. Recently, two excellent sources have argued that King James could re-sign with Cleveland. And the NYC hype is just that-hype.

On Wednesday, I read a column by reporter Sam Amico, the man behind the amazing www.probasketballnews.com. Amico doesn’t make much of the James-to-New York rumours. He believes much can change in two years, the Knicks and Nets both stink with little chance of improving, and the Cavaliers will soon have enough cap room to add a legitimate superstar to complement James.

Two days ago, dimemag.com cited an article in the New York Daily News, where Nets owner Bruce Ratner said the club’s move to Brooklyn will be delayed by a minimum of a half season. Perhaps, as dimemag.com, pointed out this will force James to reconsider his migration to The Big Apple.

Amico and dimemag.com overlook one key factor: James’ decision to join either New York area team could be influenced by business, not basketball. Basically, scoring sponsorship cash and furthering his brand in the world’s largest market could take precedence over winning.

Remember, the All-Star has serious goals outside of pro hoops. He’s talked of wanting to be the world’s richest man. He dines with billionaire Warren Buffett and trademarked the King James logo as a teenager. If it’s about dollars and branding, then the New York spotlight makes the most sense.

Of course, 82 times a year, plus playoffs, James plays his heart out for the Cavaliers. So who knows if his passion for basketball or money takes precedence in 2010?

Will James sign with a winning team in Cleveland or take New York-New Jersey’s money  in the summer of 2010? Get at us in the comment box below with your thoughts and come back to HoopsVibe The Blog for more NBA tidbits.