The city of Cleveland will sell its soul for a championship. If LeBron James delivers the city its first pro sports title since 1964 then its soul could bolt for South Beach ... again.
ESPN's Stephen A. Smith dropped a hint that LeBron could very well bolt for Miami again if he leads the Cavs to the championship this summer. Of course, no one likes to dabble in rumor more than Stephen A., and LeBron loves to plant this type of stuff for drama sake ... so take it all with a grain of South Beach sand.
"I'll drop one other tidbit of information, because people have been ignoring what I've been saying," Smith said on First Take. "I've hinted around it for months as you well know. But I'm going to say this again. LeBron James promised the city of Cleveland, 'I'm coming back to bring you that elusive title that has escaped this city since 1964.' He never said anything about staying once he does accomplish that.
"I'm in Miami a few months ago. Skip Bayless, I’m hearing about a return to Miami if this man wins. He ain’t going nowhere if he loses. But, if he wins, his options are open. L.A., but especially Miami - a return to South Beach.
Look man, there’s a lot going on. And there’s a lot riding on him winning. Losing changes everything, because it keeps there in Cleveland. But more importantly, it keeps him stuck, because he knows he can’t leave until he fulfills his promise. And if you can’t because you’re not a champion, that’s far worse than just choosing to stay because you want to.
It’s going to get very interesting. Keep your eyes on it."
If you're a conspiracy theorist, check out this quote from LeBron's SI letter from two years ago:
"My goal is still to win as many titles as possible, no question. But what's most important for me is bringing one trophy back to Northeast Ohio."
LeBron's goal of winning as many titles as possible when he enters his mid-30s will be a lot easier if he gets some help from his "superteam" buddies. Obviously, Dwyane Wade would be in Miami as a part of this proposed superteam. But the Carmelo Anthony trade rumors will immediately pop up if James actually wins a title with the Cavs next month and then subsequently bolts back to Miami.
New York would certainly be interested in chips that the Heat have to offer - including Goran Dragic, Justise Winslow and Hassan Whiteside.
Dragic enjoyed his best NBA season under Hornacek, scoring a career-high 20.3 points per game in 2013-14. In turn, Hornacek enjoyed his best season as a pro coach with Dragic leading the way.