LeBron James in 2006: "I Don't Want to Go Ring Chasing"

Derrick LightfootContributor IJuly 12, 2010

MIAMI - JULY 09:  LeBron James #6, Dwyane Wade #3 and Chris Bosh #1 of the Miami Heat show off their new game jerseys before a press conference after a welcome party at American Airlines Arena on July 9, 2010 in Miami, Florida.  (Photo by Doug Benc/Getty Images)
Doug Benc/Getty Images

I couldn't help but get caught up in this "Miami Thrice" talk. After "The Decision," it seems some with really good memories remembered a piece ESPN's Chris Broussard did with LeBron James back in 2006. Here are some of the highlights of the piece:

"I just hope that one day people will think I was one of the best players to ever play in this league. Ever."

Well they might, but you really hurt those chances by taking the easy way out as some say. Like most have pointed out, the best take their teams on their backs and lead them to the Finals.

Yeah, Kobe had Shaq, and now has Gasol and a pretty good supporting cast, but when you're playing with Wade and Bosh, it's going to be hard getting your name up there with the Jordans of the world.

"But I do want to be the best player on the court every time I step out there. It's all about competing, trying to be the best."

I am not sure "taking your talents to South Beach" to play with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh is striving to be the best player on the court and trying to be the best.

"It's also important to me to make the team I'm on now the best. I don't want to go ring-chasing, as I call it; you know, going to a team that's already pretty established and trying to win a ring with them. I want to stay with the Cavs and build a champion."

I don't know about you, but I consider a team with Wade and Bosh "pretty established."

I know what a few people will say, "Oh, so you haven't changed your mind at least once in the past four years?"

Of course everyone's thoughts and opinions change, but this is a pretty big statement. If I were to have read this article a year ago, I would have rated James very highly.

The way he speaks in this interview, you truly get the sense that he wants to be a hero in Cleveland—that he wants to take a struggling city on his back and become one of the best basketball players to play the game.

That he wants to deliver championships to Cleveland, but he is willing to wait until that happens. That he wants to create a rivalry like Bird's Celtics and Magic's Lakers.

It's hard to believe that four years can strip a man of these ambitions.

Of course, James will have a huge opportunity to win rings in Miami. But as we've seen, he himself said he didn't want to go ring chasing. If he wins in Miami, Heat fans will love him. Everyone else most likely won't care.

If he had won in Cleveland, Cavaliers fans would love him, but I think a lot of NBA fans would have respected him, and if he was able to continue to bring success to the Cavs, he would be considered among the greatest of all time.

I'm not sure he can be considered the greatest of all time when he has two superstars by his side (one who has a ring already and was Finals MVP).

A hot topic that emerged recently is whether LeBron James quit on his Cavaliers during their playoff battle with the Boston Celtics.

Bosh only added fuel to the fire as he let slip at the unveiling of the three stars that they had been in talks about playing together for months.

I'm not ready to definitively say that James "quit" on his team, but I think it's pretty evident his mind wasn't 100 percent focused on the task at hand.

The Miami Heat will scoop up its fair share of band wagoners, but if there's one thing that is concrete in all of this, it's that LeBron James and the Miami Heat just picked up a whole lot of people that want to see the team fail—including myself.