Fast forward two years from now. The summer of 2010. Brittney will probably be 300 lbs and going to jail for murder of a media member who was staked out at her house. The U.S. Men's National team will dissapoint once again at the World Cup. The Red Sox will be going for their 4th title in seven years after a 2009 world championship. But nothing will dominate the headlines more than one man. Lebron.
This past year Lebron became a man. It wasn't just the 30 ppg he averaged, or the 7 assists per game or even the 8 rebounds. It wasn't even the awkward montages we had of him in his house 'playing' with his wife and kids. (Did anyone else think the entire time Lebron was playing basketball in his house with his little kids he was just gonna swat one of the balls back and say "YOU KNOW WHO I AM? I'M LEBRON EFFIN' JAMES.") Beyond everything else, Lebron played defense. You have to remember this was one facet of his game many believed would never come around. Every scout predicted him to be most offensively gifted player since MJ, but, few believed he would became a lock-down defender as well. And, make no mistake, Lebron James is a lock-down defender in key situations. No coach will ever stick him on the best guy and tell him to shut him down night in and night out. He'd be sidelined by the 30th game with exhaustion. But, in tight spots or the playoffs, this guy becomes an animal.
Witnessing it first hand when the Cavs played my Celtics, I honestly couldn't believe what I was watching. Lebron shut down Finals MVP Paul Pierce for the entire series until Pierce had one of those 'No one is stopping me tonight' games during game 7. He was all over the place on defense. Making key steals, big blocks, and flat out taking over the game on the defensive side. I attended game 7 of that series and when the Cavs came all the way back and pulled within one, I thought to myself, if somehow we lost this it would be more of a defining moment in Lebron's career than Game 5 of the Pistons series last year when he scored 37 straight points. It was special to watch. And when we pulled out a victory everyone in the arena knew one thing. Lebron had arrived.
So, back to the future. Two years from now Lebron will be a free agent. Able to leave the Cavs, the team that drafted him. He'd also be leaving his home town. The talk right now is revolving around who is actually going to be able to afford this guy. Well, as of Wednesday night, we at least have one team that is going to try. The New Jersey (soon to be Brooklyn) Nets. The Nets dished Richard Jefferson (13 Mil) for Yi 'I'll be out of the NBA in 4 years' Jianlian and Bobby 'Does anyone know who I am' Jackson. If you don't see that this is a total cap saving move then you have a worse lazy-eye then Stu Scott.
Anyway, in 2010 the New Jersey Nets will officially become the Brooklyn Nets. Part owner of the Brooklyn Nets will be Jay-Z. Coincidently, Jay and LBJ are butt buddies. Surprise, Surprise. It adds up like Josh Howard's THC level on a Saturday night.
It's hard to fathom that a team could actually be trying to prepare to sign one, single player two years before that player goes on the market, but, that is the type of player Lebron James is. If Lebron doesn't have the type of year he just had do the Nets make this move? Maybe. But what we do know is what the entire NBA knows. Lebron is here, he is legit. So let the sweepstakes begin.