Today is LeBron James Day. It's not an official holiday but, come on, Jun. 20, 2016, is a day for admiring the Cleveland Cavaliers hero.
Delivering Cleveland's first major sports championship in 52 years on Sunday night -- a promise he made to himself and his hometown -- is by far James' greatest, most personal and emotional career accomplishment. He arguably played the best basketball we've ever seen in NBA Finals history and defeated the record-setting 73-win Golden State Warriors after being down 3-1 in the series. LeBron willed the best team he's ever had to a title victory over the best team the NBA's seen since Michael Jordan's '90s Chicago Bulls teams. There's nothing else to talk about. This title means everything to LeBron. It took 13 years, but he's officially Teflon, now vindicated for the rest of his NBA career.
Except, Jun. 20 also marks the first day of the NBA offseason, which means we're already abuzz with this summer's free agent class. LeBron has an opt-out clause in his contract and can theoretically become a free agent and sign with any team this summer.
So mere hours after LeBron won a title for his hometown, some NBA media members already launched into full free agent speculation mode. Predictably, the target was our Man of the Day, as well as best player potentially available this summer.
"If he were to decide to leave, I would say to you, at the moment, L.A. is in the mix more than I ever imagined," ESPN's Stephen A. Smith said on "First Take" Monday morning. LeBron in Calabasas? Sure.
The thinking goes: Now that LeBron has the Cleveland championship monkey off his back, he can and should go to a bigger television market and live the superstar life in a superstar's city. Los Angeles, New York (let this please happen), Miami? It's all in play, apparently! He can show up at any city in the United States and immediately become the big man on campus.
In fact, unlike "The Decision," LeBron would apparently get a pass for leaving Cleveland this time -- says none other than Magic Johnson:
They miss him. And so do LeBron's friends. Last week, The Vertical speculated that LeBron wants to run off with his aging NBA best friends and make another "Dream Team":
There’s a restlessness about James that craves the next big move, the next power play ... As for James himself, well, he has gone so far as to publicly describe an end-of-career scenario that doesn’t include Cleveland.
We are less than 24 hours removed from LeBron achieving the single-greatest feat of his NBA career. He's on the most expensive team in the NBA. Kyrie Irving blossomed into the youthful 24-year-old star scoring sidekick LeBron's never had. The team has a trade to make this offseason involving this overpaid and surplus guy named Kevin Love. Cleveland rocks.
And yet we're really going to talk about where he's headed? Come on, LeBron isn’t going anywhere.