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LeBron James’ Free Agency May Redefine Professional Basketball

Andy Lyons, Getty Images

LeBron James has threatened to leave the Miami Heat unless he gets the team he wants. During his free agency he’s meeting with other super stars — perhaps orchestrating their own all-star team. Teams like the Dallas Mavericks are making money available to welcome such a team.

Some say it’s all posturing to force the Heat to hire more stars. Either way, we’re witnessing a player dictate the make-up of a team to the general manager.

This is sports management flipped on its head.

We should acknowledge the level of talent it takes to pull this off.

But is LeBron even is as good as Kobe Bryant or Michael Jordan?

That question isn’t meant to put down LeBron James, but to point out that if the flavor of the year can wield this kind of power, all stars in the future will be able to as well.

And that begs the question, is it a good thing?

You might say, “players should play, coaches should coach and managers should manage.” That’s sound business advice, but look at how many all-star teams just couldn’t gel (2004 Lakers come to mind). Building a great team isn’t enough anymore. They must want to play as a team as well. Why not ask the players?

The idea that LeBron James might pick his teammates then pick his team just astounds me. He (and his recruits) won’t make as much money, but I’d put my money on their championship chances.

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