Michael Wilbon, a grumbly shithead who’s spent the better part of this millennium actively torching his own hard-won relevance, has now weighed in on LeBron James’s impending free agency. You may be surprised to learn that Wilbon—who has made it clear multiple times that he thinks D.C. is a “terrible” “minor league” sports town—thinks LeBron should join the Washington Wizards, apparently because spending a couple nights a week during a busy basketball season in D.C. would allow LeBron to, like, do more activisms:
And Washington, D.C., is where he can all at once pursue his championships, earn his hundreds of millions and make a glorious noise of protest, agitation or advocacy.
Jeff Bezos, one of the richest people in the world, could have set up camp anywhere but chose the nation’s capital, specifically The Washington Post, and is renovating the largest home in D.C., where his neighbors include the Obamas. Amazon’s HQ2 may not be far behind. Bezos isn’t bringing fascinating people to interact and engage, with all due respect, to Cleveland; he’s bringing them to Washington.
Ah ha. LeBron—who, despite playing for the Cleveland Cavaliers, spends enough time in Los Angeles to own two homes there—should play for the Washington Wizards, because playing basketball in proximity to Jeff Bezos and the Obamas will make him, I dunno, Golden Skeletor, but benevolent:
If LeBron (bless his heart) wants to take on Donald Trump and appeal to his own constituency, his own base, then why not get right in his space and do it here, wage the battle from the front lines instead of 2,500 miles away? The horizon has widened for an athlete/businessman/athlete, and the potential for LeBron the Influencer is limitless.
This isn’t a sincere suggestion. It can’t be. It isn’t even a coherent one. It’s a dare, as evidenced by Wilbon’s sneering “bless his heart” line. NBA teams play three or four games a week during the regular season, half of them on the road in towns scattered across North America, and when the season is over they can live wherever the hell they want. LeBron James isn’t coming anywhere close to joining the Wizards, in no small part because Washington’s wildly top-heavy roster is locked in place for the next million billion years. But don’t worry, Wilbon has done some cutting-edge roster and salary cap analysis, and offers the following sophisticated solution (emphasis mine). Try to keep up!
Since the Wizards don’t have the salary cap room to simply recruit and sign LeBron, he’d have to opt in on the final year of his current deal and do so with the stipulation that the Cavaliers trade him to the Wizards. (After a one-year contract, his next deal would convey his Bird rights to the Wizards.) The Wizards would have to give up Otto Porter, Kelly Oubre and at least one first-round pick and perhaps have to manipulate the roster like the club has never done before.
You see, the answer is hiding in plain sight! LeBron leans over a giant map of the United States and pounds his finger down on Washington, D.C., and the Wizards spend a couple hours manipulating the roster like never before, and voila! LeBron to the Wizards. You wonder if the Wizards even know about the all-powerful Manipulate The Roster Like The Club Has Never Done Before option, as a way of getting out from under that Ian Mahinmi contract.
LeBron isn’t coming to the Wizards. Obviously he’s going to the Lakers and Knicks and Nuggets. Everyone knows that.