The lights are on
Right now, ESPN and sports blogs across the nation are dedicating ridiculous amounts of time speculating where LeBron James ends up playing next year. After opting out of his contract with the Miami Heat, which some see as a power play move to get Heat owner Mickey Arison to open up his pocket book and purchase a more reliable supporting cast for the best player in basketball, rumors of his eminent arrival in cities thorughout the league have reached a fever pitch. Where will he end up? Thanks to our friends at 2K Sports, we already know.
Last year, NBA 2K14 introduced a one-off mode called LeBron: Path to Greatness. Created in conjunction with King James himself, the mode gave players two options – stay with the Heat and create a basketball dynasty, or jump to new teams via a "fantastic journey." This is how that portion of the mode plays out:
2014-15LeBron opts out of his contract and Phil Jackson lures him to the New York Knicks where he becomes the fastest player to score 25,000 points. In this first year he misses a significant chunk of the season with a lower back injury. The team limps in the playoffs as an 8th seed, which is foreboding because no team at that seed has ever won a ring. In the playoffs LeBron comes up against his old team and takes the Heat down in the Eastern Conference Finals. The new-look Knicks bring a championship to New York by cruising past Donald Sterling’s Los Angeles Clippers in the finals.
2015-16Both Chris Paul and Dwight Howard join LeBron in New York (which is highly improbable since Howard can’t opt out until after the 15-16 season and Paul can’t opt out of his deal until after the 16-17 season.). They break the all-time regular season wins record formerly held by Michael Jordan’s Chicago Bulls. In the conference finals they run into another big-three with the new-look Bulls featuring Derrick Rose, Carmelo Anthony, and Dwayne Wade (a grouping that could still happen in free agency). They knock off the Mavericks for the championship.
2016-17After training with him in the offseason, LeBron convinces Kobe Bryant to come out of retirement and join his Voltron team of NBA superstars. LeBron is voted to his record-trying 13th NBA All-Star game, wins the scoring title, and plays through sickness in the playoffs, cementing his legacy as a clutch performer.
2017-18LeBron finally returns home to Cleveland to play alongside Kyrie Irving two vets looking for a ring – Josh Smith and LaMarcus Aldridge. This team goes on a 34-game winning streak, bringing joy and laughter back to a decimated city whose economy is based on LeBron James. The King takes a backseat to Irving, helping him win a scoring title and guiding the team to its first ring.
So there you have it – the future of LeBron James according to NBA 2K14.
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