For Reggie Miller, the Cleveland Cavaliers’ superstar seems likely to stay put on Lake Erie. He and fellow TNT analyst Chris Webber held a conference call with reporters on Tuesday and spoke candidly about James’ potential free agency and the power he has this summer.
James is trying hard not to make his moves this summer the story, but this is going to permeate everything the Cavaliers do this year. It’s certainly impacted the way they operated at the trade deadline last week, and their offseason plans start (and if he leaves, restart) with what James decides to do.
Both Miller and Webber, however, don’t seem to begrudge James of the unique opportunity he will have for the third time in his career: a chance to completely alter the league’s landscape.
“More power to LeBron James,” Miller said. “I don’t think he’s holding the league hostage. I think it’s moreso Cleveland and Dan Gilbert. He’s not going to settle. Why settle when you’re not going to surround me with the talent and the level of guys to compete?”
Weber agreed, adding that James is concerned first and foremost with his legacy and needs to be “judicious” in his decision-making.
“If he was not this good, it would not matter,” Weber said. “It seems as if LeBron wants to come back… I don’t know, if you look at Golden State and other teams, would they need a LeBron, they’re already a championship caliber team? Why would he go to L.A. where he might not be a top-4 team in the West? I think that Cleveland, what he’s done for the economy and what he’s done for his city and the organization, I think he has the right to be judicious in making a decision.”
All of this is still opinion, of course, and we can’t know for sure what James will do until he does it. But it’s always interesting to see former players debate what a current player can do when presented with free agency. There doesn’t seem to be judgement or longing here, just an evaluation of the unique position James has this summer, one that so few players have in their careers.
“As a player, you always want that power,” Miller said. “And only a few in this game over the years have had this type of power. So why not exert it?”