Should LeBron James opt out of his Miami Heat contract and return to the hometown Cleveland Cavaliers where he began his pro basketball career?
Don Draper, the creative director of the fictional ad agency depicted in AMC’s Mad Men, thinks so in the pitch meeting mashup embedded below.
The San Antonio Spurs, a.k.a. America’s Team, soundly defeated the Heat four games to one in the NBA finals earlier this month, giving rise to speculation that James might take his talents from South Beach unless the Heat significantly retools its roster.
The Spurs were 28 seconds away from winning the NBA title last year in game six, but were thwarted by a Ray Allen three, before falling to the Heat in game seven. The Spurs came back with a vengeance this year, however.
LeBron James left Cleveland for Miami in 2010 amidst much hoopla associated with the so-called “Decision,” which turned out to be a public relations disaster for the NBA superstar. Many, if not most, sports fans take a dim view of a team trying to buy a championship (whether it’s the Heat or the New York Yankees in baseball) with expensive free agents rather than organically, so to speak, as the more team-oriented Spurs have done.
The 2014 version of the Decision must be contractually invoked by June 30. Lots of other NBA teams are obviously interested in the services of LeBron James if he bolts from Miami. He could also remain with the Heat for the upcoming 2014-2015 season and then opt out next year at this time.
James told the media that he will examine the various alternatives with his family, teammates, and agent after he returns from vacation.
The Cavaliers, who also hold the number one pick in next week’s NBA draft, reportedly have signed David Blatt as their new head coach. A Princeton graduate where he played college ball, Blatt coached overseas for 20 years including guiding Maccabi Tel Aviv of Israel to the Euroleague championship in May, and he also coached the Russian national team to a bronze medal in the 2012 Olympics. There were some rumors that the Cavs were interested in Mark Jackson, the former Golden State Warriors coach, for the job, particularly given that Jackson and LeBron James reportedly have a close relationship.
The Don Draper pitch was put together by the Bleacher Report social media team. “With photos from LeBron’s years with the Cavaliers spliced into footage of Don’s instant-classic, first-season ‘Carousel’ pitch, the clip shows Don working his ad-sales magic on LeBron by appealing to his fond memories of Cleveland.”
The seventh and last season of Mad Men, with its ensemble cast headed by Jon Hamm as Don Draper, will unspool its final seven episodes early next year.
With or without the Don Draper pitch, do you think LeBron James should or will go back to the Cleveland Cavaliers?