Boston Celtics

By Matt Dolloff, 985TheSportsHub.com

The idea that LeBron James would sign as a free agent with the NBA champion Golden State Warriors isn’t terribly likely. But the fact that a meeting between the two sides would even take place is an abomination and an affront to professional sports competition.

You don’t need to be an NBA expert to realize that Kevin Durant’s decision to join the Warriors, who had won 73 games in the previous season and won an NBA title the year before that, has virtually sapped the NBA Playoffs of all drama. Granted, the Houston Rockets did come close to beating the Warriors and may have pulled it off with a healthy Chris Paul at the end of the 2018 Western Conference Finals.

But let’s be honest: as currently constituted, the Warriors are pretty much unbeatable. And swap out, say, Klay Thompson or Draymond Green for LeBron and keep Durant in a Warriors uniform long-term? You’ve got yourselves an NBA monolith. A super-duper-team that would render watching the games utterly meaningless.

It may be a pointless endeavor to bloviate for too long on how much further the NBA would be ruined if the Warriors signed LeBron, and how poorly it would reflect on the soon-to-be-former Cavs superstar (again). At the end of the day, some serious maneuvering would have to take place and such a move might even force Adam Silver to somehow find a way to block it.

Still, if we are to believe Stephen A. Smith’s promise that LeBron will have a “conversation” with the Boston Celtics, then there’s no reason to doubt that he’ll also talk to the Warriors.

And if LeBron’s ultimate goal is to win a championship or three, where’s the best place to sign for the next 3-5 years?

Jun 8, 2018, Cleveland, OH: Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant and Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James react in Game 4 of the 2018 NBA Finals at Quicken Loans Arena. (Photo Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports)

Jun 8, 2018, Cleveland, OH: Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant and Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James react in Game 4 of the 2018 NBA Finals at Quicken Loans Arena. (Photo Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports)

Clearly, LeBron will have options as far as a legitimate chance to beat the Warriors. The Rockets would also be a good destination in terms of the roster. The Philadelphia 76ers boast plenty of young, high-upside talent for LeBron to work with. With the Lakers, he’d be surrounded by other young talent and would lure at least one other star (Paul George?) out there. And if he really has changed, and wants to actually take coaching from the coach and let the GM handle GM-ing, then it would behoove him to sign with Boston.

But how much, if at all, has LeBron really changed at age 33? Ultimately, his endgame is to add to his ring collection. He’s starting to run out of time to catch up to Michael Jordan in that department, at least as the centerpiece of a team. If his No. 1 goal is to win a championship at all costs, then his best choice would be Golden State.

And the “cost” in that scenario would be the very nature of legitimacy in the NBA. If Durant threw a bunch of dirt on that notion, LeBron would plant the gravestone. It would become the rest of the league scraping their way to the top of the mountain, only to bow at the feet of the league’s one true king. With (arguably) the three best players in the NBA on the same team, the entire season – and especially the playoffs – would devolve into a hollow exhibition.

Still, the very idea of LeBron signing with Golden State remains such an unfathomable disgrace, then perhaps there’s zero chance of it actually happening. Maybe LeBron is meeting with them just to get some face time before they give each other a “Yeah, we know, this would be stupid.” LeBron himself might even realize that winning multiple championships with the Warriors would be so completely anticlimactic and fruitless that there would be no real reward to it.

But the meeting is happening, and that alone should anger NBA fans everywhere outside of Oakland. The mere thought of LeBron in a Warriors uniform should make everyone all the way to Silver queasy.

And the worst part of all this, is that LeBron’s own behavior in his free agent years is what makes this seem more plausible than it should be.

Matt Dolloff is a digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Follow him on Twitter @mattdolloff or email him at matthew.dolloff@bbgi.com.