ESPN analyst Max Kellerman is gaining a lot of traction on social media by suggesting that LeBron James should join the San Antonio Spurs to beat the Golden State Warriors.
"The place LeBron must go is San Antonio, Texas," Kellerman said Thursday on First Take. "There, he will be paired with arguably the next best player in the world. Not KD, Kawhi Leonard, with his versatile and lethal offensive game and the best defensive game in the league. There, he will be coached by maybe the only person worthy of coaching him, Gregg Popovich."
It's fun to think about, isn't it? What number would he wear? How many games would the Spurs win? How would it affect LeBron's legacy? How many consecutive titles could the Spurs pull off? Would this extend LeBron's prime?
The problem is that it's not going to happen because, frankly, the Spurs aren't interested in changing what's made them such a great team and formidable championship contender for the last two decades.
The San Antonio Spurs were up by 23 points on the road in Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals before Zaza Pachulia took Kawhi Leonard out of the series.
("Zaza, you the real MVP.")
They were putting on a clinic in team greatness in taking that lead, which is why it can be said with absolute certainty that LeBron would raise the Spurs' ceiling higher than 73 wins and a title if he joined.
But he won't.
Even if LeBron took a massive pay cut, the Spurs would still have to clear cap space by taking pennies on the dollar for high-priced players like Tony Parker and Pau Gasol. They'd probably have to dump Danny Green as well. If they could find a way to unload LaMarcus Aldridge, great. But keeping foundational pieces like Jonathon Simmons, Patty Mills, and maybe even Dejounte Murray would be tough.
On top of which, the Spurs would have to take on lesser-paid players but with longer contracts, affecting them for years after this hypothetical LeBron experiment.
Now, I know what you're probably thinking. You're making all the excuses in your head as to why the Spurs could afford to dump those guys by bringing up the glaring flaws that were highlighted in the playoffs.
But here's the thing. As much as those flaws showcased why a lot of those guys aren't great individual players, something clicked when they played team basketball under Pop while wearing those Spurs logos.
All those flaws got them 61 wins in the regular season and a 23-point lead against a Warriors team that many consider unbeatable next year now that they've got their title with Durant.
This is why Zaza is their MVP. He made everyone forget about what the Spurs could've done with Kawhi playing and just lumped the Spurs in with the other teams swept out of the playoffs.
Next season, the Spurs will be waiting, most assuredly without LeBron. And the Warriors will be scared to see them.
And if they're not scared, they should be.
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