Do Cleveland and the NBA Need to Worry About Greece Poaching LeBron in 2010?
A sensational SI.com report hit the web Friday -- Olympiakos, the team that yanked Josh Childress from the NBA with a hypercompetitive contract, is considering making LeBron James a $40 million per year contract offer in 2010. There are layers and layers of ifs and maybes, but the mere thought has Cavalier fans exhausted from the impending two years of speculation.
This would be an absolute disaster for the NBA. TrueHoop suggests such a move could force David Stern to work out a serious partnership -- maybe a merger -- with the top European clubs, a la the ABA and Dr J. In fact, the very rumor probably made half of Secaucus mess itself. With the league just getting its real next Jordan in LeBron, losing him because of the collective bargaining agreement might be irreperable.
For all his ambition, though, LeBron is a bit of a company man. I think he believes in the NBA as much as the NBA believes in him. And with everyone -- including his home town in Cleveland, and his idol's team in Brooklyn -- lining up to pay him $20 million, he'll have plenty of reasons to stay. Should Olympiakos' billionaire owners look elsewhere? Carmelo Anthony won't be a free agent until 2012, but his game fits Europe remarkably well, and his allegiance to a league that has soured on him a bit might have suffered. If only 'Melo had joined the Early Bird Max Club with LeBron, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh ...