Wednesday, June 21, 2006

D-Wade and King James

The Miami Heat's victory over the Dallas Mavericks last night only increases my unease about LeBron James' long-term status with the Cavaliers. The on-court rivalry between Dwyane Wade and James has the potential to develop into something that could match the one that developed between Magic Johnson and Larry Bird. The only trouble is, LeBron doesn't have a ring yet.

What made the Johnson and Bird rivalry special was the fact that, in addition to their own skills, both guys led their teams to multiple NBA Championships. Wade's got his ring, and LeBron knows that until he gets one, Dwyane Wade's the top dog among the NBA's young guns.

How do you think something like that sits with a guy who has a giant tattoo across his back that says "The Chosen One"?

LeBron James doesn't want to be Charles Barclay when he grows up. The Heat's NBA title and Wade's pivotal role in it can only make James more impatient for a championship of his own. Despite their decent playoff run, the Cavs have to find several missing pieces before they're a championship caliber team. They'd better get to work.

Sure, the rules will allow the Cavs to keep James for a while. But unless the Cavs move quickly into the ranks of the NBA's elite, my fear is that his tenure as a Cavalier may be a lot shorter than any of us would want.

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