Commentary

LeBron will likely remain a Cav

Updated: December 30, 2008, 5:30 PM ET
By Dick Vitale | ESPN.com

There has been a lot of talk about LeBron James' future.

King James is eligible for free agency in 2010, and that has led to a lot of speculation. Will he remain in Cleveland? Will he become a savior in New York, rocking and rolling at The Mecca, Madison Square Garden as a Knick? Could he land as a Net, playing for his buddy Jay-Z?

I've said since all of this talk started that the Knicks are chasing a dream. Donnie Walsh and company cleared a lot of salary cap room by trading away Zach Randolph and Jamal Crawford, but I simply don't believe LeBron will end up in the Big Apple.

I really feel this kid loves Cleveland. He loves that area, starred in high school out there, and when it is all said and done, LeBron will sign on to remain a Cavalier.

He is one of those guys who loves his hometown. I don't think he will have to worry about eating; the cash will be there, my friends! The kind of money that will be thrown his way in Cleveland, he won't have to worry about starving.

Those who say he can land the big bucks in New York City, realize this ... there will be marketing deals if he stays in Cleveland. He is already a national celebrity and the success at the Olympics with the redeem team will also help him long-term.

I never thought I would say this, but when it is all said and done, LeBron James will be right up there in the discussion of greatest player in our lifetime. Right now, Michael the Magnificent, Mr. Jordan is numero uno. LeBron can do so many things well, and he will be in that argument by the end of his career.

Cleveland fans, LeBron hinted recently that he would consider signing an extension next summer. That's good enough for me.

Dick Vitale

College Basketball analyst
Dick Vitale, college basketball's top analyst and ambassador, joined ESPN during the 1979-80 season. His thorough knowledge of the game is brought forth in an enthusiastic, passionate style. Vitale also contributes columns to ESPN.com.