Will he stay or will he go? That's the question everyone seems to be asking concerning LeBron James and the Miami Heat in the summer of 2014. It seems like a complicated question on the outside, but reviewing “The Decision” of 2010 simplifies the equation. LeBron will stay with the Miami Heat as long as he is sure they can continue to compete for NBA Championships.
Translation: LeBron will most likely remain if Dwyane Wade’s health allows him to remain a star.
Why? LeBron walked away from his home and the Cleveland Cavaliers to win titles. He joined Wade and Chris Bosh under the notion they would not only compete at a high level for years, but dominate. Hence LeBron’s bold statement of “not one, not two, not three…” at the Miami Heat welcome party.
The biggest threat to this is ultimately the question of Wade’s health. Though the Heat have won back-to-back titles, Wade's health woes have made it tougher each season. In the 2012-13 playoffs, he averaged 15.9 points per game—the lowest scoring output of his career. On a smaller scale, Bosh seems to have become too complacent as the third option, as he only averaged 12.1 points during the 2013 playoff run.
At times during the playoffs, the Heat resembled LeBron’s Cavaliers, with him having to do everything on the court in order for them to win. This just isn't what LeBron signed up for when he joined the Heat.
The frustration in Wade over his body deceiving him was apparent, as well as LeBron’s frustration in having to carry his teammates. Winning the title made all things right—for now. But these questions will resurface come April and then in the summer.
Can this Miami Heat team continue to win championships beyond next season with the likes of the Oklahoma City Thunder, Chicago Bulls and Indiana Pacers maturing into their primes? If there’s any sense of doubt, LeBron may at least entertain the possibility of finding a new home.
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