Where will LeBron land…

Just a few days ago LeBron James decided to opt out of his current contract with the Miami Heat and test free agency and like the sheep that follow the shepherd both Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh opted out as well. A lot of heat fans will see this as an indication that they will opt back in with new additions to the roster including more depth on their bench which they lacked in the finals. I’m not like a lot of people and will explain where I think the King ends up and why.
Prior to James’ decision to opt out, Pat Riley held a press conference and was faced with tough questions surrounding the big 3 and what’s next for them. When questions surfaced about LeBron and whether or not he would stay, Riley took the opportunity and was as honest as he could be. He seemed to be taking shots at James saying if he has the “guts” to work through their “minor tweaks” in the roster he’ll stay. He went on to say he’d be surprised if he “didn’t see Wade in a Miami Heat jersey next season.” Following the press conference the news hit that the big 3 made their move to opt out. I’m sure a fair amount of fans panicked and wanted to point the finger at Riley assuming he said the wrong things, but he didn’t. Riley said what he was supposed to in a desperate situation where there was clear indication that James wasn’t happy. It was no surprise LeBron wanted to test free agency. There’s no question LeBron is not getting all of what he’s worth, but that’s the sacrifice he took when coming to Miami with Bosh. Now at age 30 he has a real decision to make as this next contract will most likely be his last contract signing. So he needs to make the decision on whether to shop around and get his money’s worth or stay in his current situation and hope for the best.
It’s no secret that LeBron was flat out TIRED this season. He carried the entire load of the team while Bosh and Wade got paid as much and did much less. I’m sure LeBon’s frustration with this situation was a factor in his decision.
Another no brainer is that LeBron just flat out wasn’t happy this season. Wade was only featured in 54 games in the regular season and averaged an even 19 ppg (which is the fewest since LeBron took his talents to South Beach). With every year Wade stays in the league the question still remains whether or not his knees will hold up. With this year being one of his healthiest in the big 3 era and the Heat still stopped short of a championship, James has to be thinking how much Dwayne has left in the tank. As for Chris Bosh, well…….
He had a solid year defensively and personally I’m still skeptical about his offense mainly being around the 3 point line and him not being able to be physical and bang down low and that can hurt him on both ends. Duncan and Splitter had their way down low with no one down low for the Heat making them struggle. And with the pick up of Greg Oden being a total bust they really had no one to look to. Chris Andersen showed his age this year and didn’t give the Heat that spark off the bench they needed like last season.
When you look at Miami’s roster they have 7 players that are 32 or over. With really only two of those players truly contributing, Miami will have to do more than just some “minor tweaks.” Three of those players contributed absolutely nothing and are just on the bench to earn a ring. Mario Chalmers is asking for around $8 million/year in his new contract and his talents can surely be replaced next season. So his demand isn’t such a priority for the organization and with his poor performance is the finals, don’t expect Chalmers to be in a Heat uniform next season. The Heat will need to revamp the majority of their bench along with one or two starting positions and in a convincing matter if they want the King to return.
With the teams competing for James, the Heat faces the most pressure, especially since Riley made those comments in his press conference. If LeBron chooses to come back, Riley has to show his “guts” and make some changes to the roster.
When it all comes down to it, Miami may be in some trouble when it comes to convincing James. Of course Miami is an ideal destination for any player but playing alongside one of the greatest of all time makes it more enticing. But it’s a matter of finding the right players at the right price. Of course there is a possibility Carmelo can join the big 3 but that may make things extremely difficult for the 3 and 4 position when both LeBron and Carmelo play the same position. Even though one can play the 3 and the other the 4, that could minimize one’s talents because the 4 may need to focus down low more than out of the paint and that may not be ideal when you look at the finals and see how well the Spurs played in the paint.
When you look at all the factors I see Lebron James playing elsewhere and by elsewhere I mean back home, in Cleveland. I know that Cleveland has truly struggled since Lebron left but when they can offer Lebron more money and provide a young, talented team that needs a leader to carry them, Lebron fulfills what they need. They’ve had three number 1 overall picks since James left along with a number 4 draft pick. All with potential to be something special in the league and with the help of a true leader this team has the potential to make an instant run in a weak Eastern Conference. This team is a lot more talented than any of the teams Lebron was on when he was with the Cavs, especially the team he carried to the finals in 2007. Although James and owner Dan Gilbert didn’t part ways on the best of terms, I’m sure Gilbert will do whatever it takes to bring the King back home and place him in a Cavaliers uniform.
James also mentioned that it was a priority to try and stay in Miami but they are somewhat limited in what they can offer with the big 3 contracts being so large. As for Wade and Bosh opting out as well, I see their mindset being that if Lebron leaves, they deserve they should be paid as well, but I will agree with Riley and say I would be surprised if Wade isn’t back I’m a Heat uniform.
With Cleveland being a younger team with more potential to bring to the table, along with the ability to offer more money AND it being practically home for the king, it may just be enough to lure him back home. I don’t see Riley’s comments bothering James that much because James has done plenty for the Miami organization making four consecutive trips to the finals and winning two of them. Of course Houston is a contender but I just don’t see Lebron and Dwight working well together. Yes Howard is a big man with authority but his mental weakness could irritate James and it seems like Howard only competes well when he believes he’s the best player on the court. The Lakers are another contender with cap space but I only see James landing there if Carmelo joins and with those two playing alongside Kobe is tough to see as well.

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French Open Predictions

With the French Open being right around the corner and the draw fresh out, I’ll share my predictions and favorite to win it all on my men’s side. 8-time champion Rafael Nadal has regained the top seed this year after winning to title last year as a 3 seed but being the top seed may be just putting a bigger target on Rafa as he may have one of toughest draws as one of the top 4 seeds.
Potential opponents for Rafa include Nicolas Almagro, a fellow Spaniard and tremendous player on the clay when it comes to his heavy topspin ground strokes on both ends. Tommy Haas, who is not exactly known for his clay specialities but after finding a rebirth in his game, he is capable of upsetting ANYONE on any surface. Grigor Dimitrov, a player who has plenty of potential just waiting to explode, not sure if Roland Garros is the place where that will start but is definitely a player to keep eyes on. David Ferrer, another Spaniard whom Rafa met in the final last year is still looking for a grand slam title on his way out (whenever that may be) and with his grit and being the ultimate grinder that he is, the French may be his only hope.
The biggest threat in Rafa’s side of the draw is Stan the man (Stanlas Wawrinka). Stan is another player full of potential and was a player urging to own a grand slam and that urge was finally met when he was able to grab the Australian Open title to start off the year. Needless to say, Stan is looking to grab more titles this year as his ceiling rises and although he defeated a wounded Rafa in the final at Melbourne, that title was well earned, but expect Rafa to seek revenge if they match up in the semis especially in “Rafa’s house” at the French Open. Stan does not have a “cake walk” to Rafa as he may have to face Andy Murray and Gael Monfils. There are usually high expectations for Murray but since coming off his back surgery, he has been all of streaky with his results, so spectators are not quite sure what to expect from him but if healthy, expect good things.
The bottom half the draw is led by 2 seed Novak Djokovic and although he may be a favorite to make it to the finals by most, let’s just press the pause button here and look at the draw. Two names that automatically stick out and should are hometown favorite Jo-Wilfred Tsonga and arguably one of the greatest players tennis has even seen in Roger Federer. Now of lately, Jo has been another streaky players this year but playing in front of his home fans may help turn things around for the Frenchmen. It doesn’t take a tennis expert to see that Fed is past his prime, but that doesn’t mean he is past being a threat to other big names on tour and is desperate to prove he’s still capable of winning grand slams at 32. Now although physically, Roger can hang and beat the best, mentally he may not be there after his wife just gave birth to another set of twins, Fed wasn’t sure if he would even enter the French if the due date was close to the start of the tournament. So that may be a factor for Fed heading into Roland Garros.
As far as my favorite to win it all, it’s difficult not to pick the man that’s claimed the title 8 times. Although Rafa may be tested throughout the entire draw, that may be more good than bad. To be tested throughout and bringing the “A game” out every time may better than sleeping on opponents which can lead to possible upsets. So, my pick to win this years French Open is Rafael Nadal.
Please make sure to comment or tweet me about this and other blog posts. @mylehigh614
If you want to see what the full draw and others draws click here

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Introduction

I think it’s only right that my first post be about who I am so that viewers know, well, who I am….

 

My name is Myles Harris and I’m a fourth year student at Wright State University with a major in Mass Communications. I’m a member on the tennis team at my school and I’ve created a Twitter page for the team (www.twitter.com/WSUMenTen). I decided to make a blog because my goal is to one day write and analyze for ESPN and I found that blogging is a good way to expose my writing.

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Although tennis is the sport that I play, I read about and watch many other sports (basketball, soccer, football, etc.). My two favorite sports (other than tennis) would have to be basketball and football. I’ve been a Lakers fan for as long as I can remember (yes that includes a Kobe fan as well) and as soon as I started following football deeply I’ve become a Philadelphia Eagles fan.

I follow soccer as well. I must say I’m a huge Barcelona fan and enjoy watching Lionel Messi. I try to watch as many sports as possible to stay as versatile as possible. One thing I can say I have learned at school is to keep my options as open as possible and being versatile can plenty of opportunity. If I had to pick a sport to write and analyze about, it would have to be basketball (I know, shocking). Although tennis is the sport I understand most especially since I play it, basketball is a sport that people watch and like more than a sport like tennis. It’s unfortunate because I feel like tennis is one of the most underrated sports in the world, but don’t worry, I’ll write about that later. Basketball has a bigger fan base, especially in a network like ESPN.

As far as what you’ll see on this blog will be the most recent and interesting topics through sports, whether it’s a big time trade, results/reactions to the final four, playoff pictures, drafts, etc. My goal is to keep this blog as active as possible so please comment, follow, read, subscribe do it all!

Follow me on Twitter: http://twitter.com/mylehigh614