Lakers’ Successful Off-Season Proves Large Markets Still Dominate
Let’s face it, everyone in LeBron James’ shoes would have made the same decision that he made in 2010. Although not many would have opted for the hour long special, almost 100 percent of you reading this would have taken your talents to South Beach also. Yes Cleveland was his home, but who would want to spend an entire career in a cold city surrounded by nothing but farms?
Miami offered LeBron no income tax, beautiful weather all season long and an opportunity to play with a title contending team. Miami is a major market city and a place that would offer him a plethora of marketing chances. The switch from small market to large market by LeBron James was just another example of the NBA’s inevitable transition to a league of super-teams.
However, James wasn’t the first player to make such a move. Shaquille O’Neal made the switch from the Orlando Magic to the Los Angeles Lakers back in 1996, and it is safe to say that it was a successful choice.
After the ‘Decision’ players like Carmelo Anthony and Deron Williams also broke away from their small markets. Anthony left the snowy city of Denver after a stressful “Melo Drama” and found himself in the USA’s biggest market, New York City. Williams was traded from the Utah Jazz to the New Jersey Nets, a team now in Brooklyn ready to make their point guard the face of the franchise hoping to make a splash in New York City’s borough.
As you can see, superstars want to move to cities that can manage their egos. Let’s face it, the media, the fans and the atmosphere in cities like New York and Los Angeles are in completely different worlds than those of Denver or Salt Lake City. With the salaries of these players, why wouldn’t they want to live in the country’s marquee areas?
Have a metropolitan area as a selling point for players or free-agents is a great asset for franchises to use. That’s why teams like the Lakers, Clippers, Nets, Knicks, Bulls and Heat, to name a few, are very fortunate to be situated in these cities. The Knicks can entice players by showing them Fifth Avenue, Time’s Square and Manhattan’s Financial District, whereas the front office for the Indiana Pacers lure in free agents by what, showing them the nearby farms and the friendly livestock?
Not many people would pick spending time with cows and cattle over sight-seeing in beautiful New York City or attend movie premieres in Los Angeles.
And thus a super-team forms. A group of players from medium to small market teams get tired of the lack of talent on their team and finally jump the bandwagon so many NBA stars have joined. Leave their previous franchise and go join up with other skillful players in hopes of having fun both on and off the court.
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