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LeBron James Returning To Cleveland Gives Hope To The Rest Of Us

BOSTON (CBS) -  The main criticism you hear of the NBA (especially on the airways of 98.5 The Sports Hub) is that the players wield too much power.

They can force their way out of "undesirable" markets through trades (Carmelo to New York via Denver), get their coaches canned (Dwight Howard), and if you're a real jerk you can accomplish both (I'm talking to you, Deron Williams).

LeBron James, by deciding to return to his hometown of Cleveland, Ohio -- a once-thriving, but now downtrodden Midwest city -- is great news for the National Basketball Association.

James is the best player on the planet. No doubt about it.

Players want to be on his team, and they'll even take less money to do it.

We know that all too well here in Boston. Ray Allen, an integral part of Boston's Big 3 and the 2008 championship, took considerably less money to play in South Beach with LBJ instead of remaining with the Celtics.

Well what are players going to do now? If they want to play with James they're going to have to move their families to Cleveland.


The Celtics have more NBA championships than anybody and are one of the league's premier franchises, yet they still haven't been able to lure a top-flight free agent in his prime.

Not once.

That's the Celtics, so you can only imagine how Minnesota must feel. Or Milwaukee!

The NBA is 30 teams strong, yet heading into any given year you get the feeling that only two or three teams have a shot at the Larry O'Brien Trophy. Players are all cool with each other, and the first chance they get at free agency they want to partner up and win it the easy way, rather than sticking it out with the teams that drafted them.

San Antonio is a successful, model franchise in a small-market city. But they are the exception, not the rule.

Most teams have no shot.

LeBron may have just caused a seismic shift in the NBA, because Cleveland is now a desirable destination. Now maybe, just maybe, when a superstar on a small market team reaches free agency he'll make the bold decision to stay, and not take his talents elsewhere.

King, we are forever grateful.

Read more from Andrew Celani by clicking here, or find him on Twitter @ACE_Worldwide.



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