Monday , Dec , 22 , 2008 C.Y. Ellis

Charles Barkley: I Hope LeBron James Stays in Cleveland

"When I decide to make a decision, it’s where I can win multiple championships,” James said recently. "This is the best team we’ve had since I have been here.”

James is averaging 27.5 points, 6.8 rebounds and 6.3 assists for a Cavs team that is 22-4 and trailing only Boston for the league’s best record.

Still, a quartet of factors has spurred the speculation over James’ future — Cleveland’s perceived inferior market, James’ repeated vow to "keep all his options open,” his friendship with rap mogul and Nets part owner Jay-Z and his desire to maximize his endorsement deals in his quest to become a billionaire.

"I hope he stays in Cleveland,” said Hall of Famer Charles Barkley, who recently called out James for disrespecting the Cavs with talk about his future and suggested James "shut the hell up.”

"Not too many guys get to play their whole career around family and friends. I think that would be fantastic if he could lead Cleveland to a championship. That would be cool. I wish him the best whatever he does.”