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Forget Three-Peat, LeBron’s Next Move Should Be A Cleveland Repeat

Don't laugh.

Don't laugh.

LeBron James' next move is an easy one. He should pack up his talents and move back home, go to back to Cleveland.

The Miami thing is beat, over.

The way the San Antonio Spurs embarrassed the Heat – with a plus 70 point differential, the largest in NBA Finals' history was a harbinger of the Big 3’s future.


 The Spurs' waxing in just five games denied the Heat a chance at greatness, of winning three straight NBA titles. Plus, the Spurs exposed that team as a has-been. The Heat crashed and burned in three straight games for all to see.


 Rightly so, James, who left Cleveland via free agency in 2010, was noncommittal about his plans for next season. He can opt out of his contract with the Heat that would pay him $20.6 million next season.

"I will deal with my summer when I get to that point," James said to the media after losing to the Spurs in Game 5 of the NBA Finals. "Me and my team will sit down and deal with it. I love Miami. My family loves it.

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"But obviously right now that's not even what I'm thinking about."


If James was so in love with Miami and believed in his team, he could have simply said he's committed to the Heat and was staying.

Simple. Easy. No more questions. Debate over.


James, though, knows Miami can only be a bad place for him from here on out. There's no help coming if the Big 3, including Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh.

The three, if they all opt in, would eat up just about all the salary cap, making Miami pay the punitive collectively bargained repeater tax at approximateely $2.50 to every $1 spent on the cap ratio and there would be almost nothing left to improve the supporting cast to make another real run at a championship.

And forget that pipedream of adding free agent Carmelo Anthony. It's called unrealistic by most in the league.

The last thing James wants to be is on the team that he helped construct to win titles not winning titles. It only takes away what they accomplished to this point, winning two titles in four straight Finals appearances.

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Hello, Cleveland.



Going back there makes perfect sense. It really does and on two fronts.


First, James can go back to where it all began, where he was drafted and beloved.

Yes, Akron's own can go back to Ohio and make everything right again. He can be forgiven for running out on them when things got tough.

And it matters how people feel about James. He's a sensitive guy, probably the most sensitive to be such a big star.

Nonetheless, James can become a hometown hero again and turn public opinion – there and in NBA America, too – if he went back home to help his hometown team finally win a title.


The reason James left was because he was afraid that he would have a great career and wind up title-less. The mere thought of it scared James to death. Hence, he fled.

That's behind him now. Those two championships in Miami have put LeBron in a place he can finally relax and just play.

The Michael Jordan comparison is over. MJ was 6-for-6 in NBA Finals and James has now lost more Finals (three) than he has won (two).

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James doesn't have to worry or talk about that burden anymore.


That's not to say that James is going to coast to retirement and doesn't want to win again in his career.


Not at all.

James would just be winning in a more meaningful place. Miami was a rental. Cleveland is home.

It would be the stuff legends are made of: the native son comes back and delivers the championship he promised.

Yes, James can go home and bring his two championship rings with him. It's a clear win-win.

James' ultimate goal can simply be to win Cleveland, the city not just the Cavs, its first title since the 60s when Jim Brown was running the football for the Browns.



The Cavs might not be the Heat on paper but they have stuff to work with, including All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving and the first overall pick in the draft.

Cleveland's the move for LeBron.


Rob Parker is a columnist for The Shadow League. He is also an analyst for Fox Sports 1 in Los Angeles. He co-hosts The Odd Couple on Fox Sports Radio and is also an adjunct professor at the University of Southern California.