Signing LeBron James, who is widely regarded as one of the best players of all time, seems like a no-brainer to almost any knowledgeable sports fan. I am here to tell you why that shouldn’t be the case, especially for the Philadelphia 76ers.
This was first brought up during the last Impractical Sports Podcast, which you can listen to me getting roasted here: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/impractical-sports-podcast/id1287858013?mt=2
To make this blog more balanced and fair, fellow co-founder and Cleveland native Noah Gross will add objections to my reasons.
Before I present my case, it’s important for me to note that if LeBron did in fact come to Philadelphia, I would most certainly embrace him. However, I’m very uncomfortable with some of the possible consequences that would entail.
Completing the Process
Kevin: This is what makes me the most uncomfortable about signing what could be the best player ever to play basketball. I won’t say that I was brainwashed by my favorite podcast of all time, the Rights to Ricky Sanchez, but I was greatly influenced by their deep wisdom about this LeBron topic, for which I recommend you all listen to them presenting a much more compelling argument than I made in the podcast linked below. Fast forward to 46:20.
If you’re reading this in silent study or at work and don’t want to listen to a podcast segment, here is the main argument: LeBron James coming to “complete the process” would make the whole team all about him. While his greatness justifies this, the chemistry of this team just can’t afford such an ego in the locker room. Why mess with a team that is currently competing to host a playoff series and just now starting to reach some of their potential?
Noah: First, if you are in silent study, just use headphones like a normal human being. Secondly, wtf Kevin. Yeah the team would be about him, you even said HE IS THE GOAT. And for the hundredth time, they will NOT host a playoff series. They are five games above .500…in the East…and the Celtics, Bucks and Raptors are only getting better in the future. It is not ‘messing’ with a team when they have been together for half a season and are not going to do anything with him. Plus, he can play with anyone and fits in quickly.
Winning without him would be that much better
Kevin: In an era where all these super teams are being formed through free agency, how great would it be to win the NBA title without doing that. The 2015 Golden State Warriors were so much more liked than last year’s title-winning team. Why? Because they reached the pinnacle of success after years of team and player development from the draft.
It would be much cooler if the 76ers won without a Kevin Durant or LeBron James to put them over the top. Instead of going all in during this offseason when the Warriors are potentially still in great position to win the 2019 NBA title, why not develop your players throughout those couple more seasons?
Noah: I actually get this one a little more, but still, you are wrong. I felt the same way when they discussed LeBron coming back. But, winning is winning, dog. And you won’t win without him. The Cavs winning was the best day of my life. You will love your team no matter who is on it, especially the ever-lovable LeBron.
Stunting the growth of Ben Simmons
If LeBron James joined, not only would it be a weird fit on the court from the start like I mentioned on the podcast, but it would also be difficult to manage long term success. First, having two identical point forward players who prefer to kick it out in today’s NBA full of spacing wouldn’t be the best basketball to watch.
Ben Simmons is one of two rookies in the Rookie of the Year chase due to his all around game and usage rate. Simmons needs the ball. If LeBron comes, Simmons immediately becomes the second option. How much does this affect his future play making ability? What about his confidence? What about willingness to work on his shot?
Moreover, what about each of their respective windows for success? LeBron turns 34 in December, Simmons turns 22 next July. Halting his development could be detrimental to the window of success that the Sixers have, which again could open up a lot more after the Warriors are done terrorizing the league in a couple of seasons. Realistically, does LeBron have that much more of a chance to overcome the Warriors in the short term?
Noah: Kevin I suggest reading what you just typed and if you still agree with I know an insane asylum you can call. Fun to watch? Oh poor you, you don’t think watching ‘Bron and Simmons would be fun, even though it would be. Also for some reason you don’t seem to know that LeBron can shoot. His three-point percentage this season is right around the likes of Damian Lillard, Bradley Beal, Victor Oladipo and Devin Booker.
Kevin: If LeBron signs a series of stupid one-year deals like he always does, it’s going to be annoying to have to convince him to stay every single time. Why put all your marbles on a player that’s only here for a stop in his career?
Also: LeBron’s salary is too expensive and there will be too many bandwagoners.
Noah: You. are. getting. LeBron. James. Trust me, as a fan of a team where he keeps signing one year deals, it’s better to have him than not. You have cap space and can recover, just do not keep J.J. Redick. Bandwagoners suck but you really won’t want LeBron because of other fans your team may have? Grow up. Plus, there is already a ton of bandwagoners for the 76ers. Mic drop.
Even if it is Bryan Colangelo making the decisions, I will always #TTP with whatever happens.