That question seems strange, right? Isn't the legacy of a two-time NBA Champion and four-time MVP already determined?
LeBron has been the best player in the world for the better part of the past decade and comes close to a triple-double seemingly every game. He's an absolute menace on the court and an advertiser's dream off of it.
But think back on his career. What's the first thing you think of?
It's not his championships, his MVP's, or his Finals record. It's "The Decision".
When we think of a player's legacy, we rarely dig deep into the numbers and rely on lasting images from his career. If that was flipped, many would consider Wilt Chamberlain and Oscar Robertson as two of the top-3 players in NBA history.
We remember Wilt's 100-point game, but we mostly remember the fact that he couldn't beat Bill Russell. We rarely acknowledge that he averaged 50.4 ppg and 25.7 rpg one year (Yeah, he really did. That's not a misprint.) and 30.1 ppg and 22.9 rpg for his career.
Robertson is the only player in NBA history to average a triple-double throughout an entire season, but there isn't a signature moment we remember him by, so we largely forget about him.
Instead, we choose to idolize Larry Bird, Magic Johnson, and, of course, Michael Jordan, because they have lasting images that make them easier to remember.
Bird and Magic not only had each other and their epic Finals battles, but Bird also has so many game-winners and his legendary trash-talking. Magic has "Showtime" and a bevy of no-look passes. MJ has game-winners, 72-10, 10 scoring titles, two three-peats, and the foul line dunk.
We even idolize Allen Iverson for the lasting images of his game-changing crossover and the fabled step-over:
LeBron's greatest non-Decision memories are inventing the chasedown block and revolutionizing the small forward position - pretty amazing feats, and what we all should remember.
However, his detractors will remember his fourth-quarter meltdowns against the Dallas Mavericks in the 2011 NBA Finals and point out that hehit the biggest shot of his career against Orlando in the 2009 Eastern Conference Finals...
...yet that was the heavily-favored Cavaliers' only win of the series.
But 10-20 years from now, when we look back on James' career, what will be those moments that come to mind?
If LeBron chooses to part ways with the Miami Heat, it'll be to play with friends (Carmelo Anthony) or to try and right what some may view as a wrong (leaving Cleveland). It won't be for the money, because every team will pay him whatever he wants.
The first thing that many of us will think of first when discussing his legacy will be James jumping from team-to-team chasing championships, and not his contributions to the game. Some won't blame him because of poor supporting casts, while others will claim he didn't want to go through the grind and "earn" a title with a team.
THAT will be the first talking point when you're drinking a beer with your friends talking him, and LeBron doesn't deserve that.
He's one of the best players the league has every seen and has changed the way the game is played, much like Wilt Chamberlain did. But like Wilt, we won't remember the crazy numbers that tell us just how good he was.
No, we'll remember "The Decision" and "The Decision 2.0".
So if LeBron wants to be remembered more like Michael and less like Wilt, he'll stay in Miami.
How do you think LeBron's decision will impact his legacy? Where do you think he'll go? Tweet your thoughts and responses to @brauf33.Back to the NBA Newsfeed