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The Not-So-Offical Lebron James Offseason To-Do List 2017

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The Not-So-Offical Lebron James Offseason To-Do List 2017

Nathan Bush, Columnist

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Remember the camera shot at the end of game five of LeBron powerwalking into the dark underbelly of the Oracle while yellow confetti began to rain on the court?

LeBron has showcased his iconic speed walk in almost every disappointing series loss he’s been a part of. This tradition dates back to 2008 when LeBron’s Cavs took on the Boston Celtics in the Eastern Conference Semifinals. After a heartbreaking game seven loss, LeBron stormed off the court. In 2011, he raced to the locker room after a crushing Finals loss to the Dallas Mavericks. His powerwalk can be seen once more in 2014 when he was bested by the San Antonio Spurs. It’s a weird tradition, and perhaps it’s the product of basketball media’s obsession with LeBron James’ every step.

However, the question must be raised: what happens once the camera is off, and he is finally done walking? Perhaps he just sits around in the locker room until NBA PR officials force him to speak at the podium. Maybe he checks what he’s missed on Twitter during his annual social media hiatus, affectionately named “Zero Dark Thirty Mode.”

But I have a better theory.

What if LeBron busts out the ole legal pad and starts coming up with an offseason to-do list? I get it, it’s a funky idea, but think about it. LeBron is a guy who is one or two steps ahead of everyone else at all times, so I get the vibe that he’s pretty organized. He knows the type of player he likes, he knows what it takes to win, and everyone knows LeBron runs the Cavs.

Look at the Love-Wiggins trade, Tristan Thompson’s jumbo deal, the firing of David Blatt, J.R. Smith’s jumbo deal and of course, all of the LeBron-friendly acquisitions ala Kyle Korver, Channing Frye and Deron Williams. LeBron’s 9” hands have been a part of all of these moves and decisions. So if Lebron James does have a to-do list, I wonder what it would entail. And with that, I bring you the “Not-So-Official Lebron James Offseason To-Do List 2017” with meta commentary.

Offseason To-Do List 2017

1. Trade Kevin Love For Paul George

The Kevin Love experiment in Cleveland has gone on long enough. It’s not that I think he is untalented, but I believe his fit with Cleveland is not as snug as it once was. One problem for the Cavs when defending the new and improved Golden State Warriors is LeBron’s matchup. Since LeBron’s Heat days, he has never been asked to guard the best player on the court. The principle is sound: hide LeBron on a subpar player, which then allows him to basically play free safety on defense. Putting him on a lesser player also helps him conserve energy to expend on offense and later in games. In his former matchups with Golden State, Lebron’s matchup was Draymond Green. This year, LeBron was forced to chase Kevin Durant around the entire game, a much harder and draining task. This could all be solved if Love was traded for a wing player like Paul George. A Love-George trade would give the Cavs much more versatility, something LeBron has historically loved. That’s why I feel like it’s the number one item on his summer agenda.

2. Start A Coup Against Tyronn Lue

Tyronn Lue is the Barry Switzer of today’s NBA. He’s a completely unqualified coach who somehow had an all-time great team fall into his lap, just like the not-so-great Barry Switzer. Warning: I’m about to rip Tyronn Lue to shreds. Tyronn Lue should have reamained the guy Bleacher Report embarrasses once a year when posting the video of Allen Iverson stepping over him. Instead, fans of the NBA must watch in misery as Tyronn Lue wings this job on the biggest stage. I’ve seen dads coach their daughter’s Upward team with more poise. That’s an insult that should keep Lue up at night. Lue committed several sins this season alone. Sin #1, throughout the first 41 games this season, LeBron led the league in minutes with 37.6 per game. LeBron has played more basketball than anyone in the last 50 years during this seven year span! This is classic mismanagement. Sin #2, the Cavs finished the season 12-15. I get it, Cleveland has a so-called “off-switch,” but this is a new level of not caring. The players are allowed to slack, but it’s the coach’s job to keep them in check. Sin #3, Lue lost to the Boston Celtics without Isaiah Thomas and then claimed, “The stuff [Boston is] running, it’s harder to defend than Golden State’s [offense] for me.” No wonder you got dismantled in this season’s playoffs if Avery Bradley running off flare screens was too much for you!  Sin #4, Lue continued to encourage his team to up the pace of the game, even though slowing the game down won the Cavs the NBA Finals the year before. Like c’mon Lue, did you seriously think you could outrun the Warriors? LeBron’s coaches rarely stick around for very long before “mysteriously” getting fired, so don’t be surprised when LeBron prioritizes ditching Lue for a competent head coach.

3. Shaved Head?

I think at the end of every year, LeBron has to look in the mirror and ask himself how much longer he is going to keep up his receding hairline look. Who knows, maybe LeBron will channel his inner MJ and finally shave it all off. I might be dreaming, but trust me, the clippers are waiting for LeBron. Draymond Green agrees. But seriously, imagine how cool LeBron would look if he came back with a shaved head and just completely dominated the NBA. No hair, no problem.

4. Shoot A Whole Lot of Threes

The most pleasant surprise this year was the reemergence of LeBron’s jumper. I was shocked to see him actually knock down threes at a rather astonishing clip. I was just starting to write off his jump shot as something he left in Miami, but this playoffs proved me very wrong. He made 41 percent of his threes this postseason, which added a whole other dimension to his already unstoppable game. LeBron will focus most of his energy this summer perfecting his shot, helping him adapt to the new NBA even more than he already has.

5. Make Cleveland Desirable For Old Vets

One of Golden State’s unsung talents is their ability to attract front-running, ring-chasing veteran players for cheap deals. Guys like David West helped change the tide for the Warriors, and Cleveland needs to become a bigger part in that market. Stealing vets by selling them on the idea of playing with the one of the most unselfish superstars in NBA history may be a great selling point, and LeBron will definitely try it.

6. Get Kyrie Irving To The Next Level

One of the greatest takeaways from this postseason, especially the final two rounds, is how legit Kyrie is. He’s a generational talent and may go down as one of the most deadliest offensive weapons this league has ever seen. He’s earned ultimate respect from guys like Kevin Durant, who stated on the Bill Simmons Podcast, “Kyrie is better than Iverson.” I think LeBron obviously sees the greatness in Irving, and must focus on getting more consistency out of him. It seems for the past couple of years, Kyrie plays at a star level in the regular season and then takes on a different persona in the final ten games of the postseason. For the sake of LeBron’s rest, he will more than likely relinquish more of the scoring load to Kyrie, saving himself for the postseason.

7. Be Happy

I think LeBron ends his to-do list on a note of fulfillment. In May, LeBron stated he had nothing left to prove. While many people scowled at this statement, I understand it. At this point, LeBron James is 32 and is already arguably the second best player in NBA history. He’s gone from beloved to hated to celebrated, and I believe the story of LeBron is a story of a walk towards fulfillment. While he may never be as hungry or as obsessive as Jordan, LeBron’s goal all along was to be happy. I think he’s accomplished that, and the rest of his career will be dedicated to enjoying the precious moments he has a basketball player.

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