LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony: Phoenix Suns are right to aim high, but…
It’s the kind of story that whets the appetite. Primes the pump. The kind the hardcore fans and the local sports talk show hosts dream about. Just plug and play and off you go.
The Phoenix Suns in a prime position to woo both LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony? I feel like sending Adrian Wojnarowski a box of chocolate chip cookies as a token of gratitude.
Can it happen? Of course it can. The how and the why have all been outlined and it all makes a certain amount of sense. The Suns have assets galore. Young players, draft picks, cap space. They have Eric Bledsoe. They have better flexibility than someone who’s been doing yoga for ten years. Other team can talk about adding LeBron and another max contract guy, but the Suns can do it with fewer speed bumps than the others.
The simplicity of the transaction. The history of the franchise. All that young talent just looking for a proper foundation. The fact that James and Bledsoe share an agent and hopefully a vision of playing together.
Sure, the Suns can make this happen.
But as a line from an old movie goes…men (and teams) get lost in the chasm between what is said and what is done.
Having been down this road before — specifically with Peyton Manning and Masahiro Tanaka — it’s understandable how hard it’s going to be for the Suns’ architects to turn this blueprint into their dream home.
First off, you have to get an audience with LeBron. It’s not clear to what extent he’s granting teams even the chance to pitch him.
Which, secondly, begs the question: Why is he not granting teams the window to sell him on their vision? Is it the same reason Dwayne Wade, at his age and declining level of play, walked away from over $40 million guaranteed? Is it because everybody knows they’re all coming back to Miami? I fear that’s the answer.
And third, keep in mind that if it gets to the point where the King grants an audience to the masses, plenty of other teams will have plenty of other reasons for LeBron to go there. The Rockets will have Howard and Harden. The Clippers will pitch Doc and CP3. The Cavs can sell home.
Kudos to the Suns for their alpha dog approach on this. Like U2 once sang, “it’s no secret that ambition bites on the nails of success.” I love that this team is in go-for-it mode and not wait-for-it mode. It bodes well for the future.
Yet I can’t quite get a day out of my mind; that day in the spring of 2012 when Manning visited the Cardinals’ headquarters and all the reasons why he could or would flashed through your head.
Ultimately he didn’t, like we all deep down knew would be the case. And the chasm between what is said and what is done proved to be too wide to cross.