There has never been a time in NBA history where one player’s free agency has gotten more publicity than the actual NBA Finals. LeBron had more people interested in his decision than the outcome of the actual Championship! The self-proclaimed ‘Chosen One’ is now a larger than life icon that has a huge decision to make that will affect his legacy forever. That decision is choosing the right team.
I really think LeBron should take this time to sit down and think about this decision the way a smart entrepreneur should.
A smart entrepreneur wants to leave a legacy. He wants to do something that will impact the world and help society. The end goal of an entrepreneur should never be which decision will make the most money. It’s about staying true to the overall goal and vision. When you create a consistent vision within your startup, you create a customer base that is loyal and is excited about your new products, because they share the same goals. Apple is very effective at doing this. They promote a vision that encourages people to challenge the status quo, and this is reflected and consistent with everything they do.
What I’m trying to say is that LeBron’s main goal should be to impact society in a positive way and to leave the best legacy possible. I personally believe that the best place for him to do that is Cleveland. Cleveland is a city that’s starving for a championship. It hasn’t won one since 1964 despite having 3 professional teams all striving for a title. The city is plagued with memories of many failed attempts (the Drive, the Fumble, the Shot, Jose Mesa blowing the World Series, etc.), but that hasn’t stopped fans from coming out and being one of the most dedicated fan bases in the United States. Don’t believe me? Just look at these guys.
LeBron choosing to stay in Cleveland will be great for his legacy. He will have his own niche in Cleveland where he will likely be remembered as the greatest individual the city has ever had after he brings them a championship or two. His impact will never be forgotten. However, if LeBron moves to a bigger city like New York or Chicago, everything he does will be overshadowed or compared to someone else. His decision, like in business, should NOT be about what city will give him the most endorsement opportunities or has the brightest lights. It should be about staying true to your own vision.
New York is filled with celebrities and superstars. Anything LeBron does there will become old news once the season is over. New York is filled with teams that have won championships every single decade of its existence, including the Giants in 2007 and the Yankees last year. LeBron winning a title in the Big Apple is of minimal impact because the market is already saturated. And Chicago already has a basketball legend. MJ has the first mover advantage in the city and anything LeBron does will constantly be compared to His Airness. At best, he will be remembered as just as good.
From a true entrepreneurial perspective, LeBron should continue to make an impact on society in the most effective way possible. The best way is by filling a need and giving the city of Cleveland a championship and becoming an unforgettable hero in the process.