The Truth Behind Lebron’s Decision 3.0


Lebron James is a Laker. Still sounds and looks weird. But how did he decide to join the Lakers? Well, we may never know the real answer, but if you use your imagination you might picture Lebron hosting a Bachelor style rose ceremony show where he weeds out all the no’s, debates some maybe’s and really focuses on the teams he loves. That’s what this is. I present to you – The Decision 3.0 – Year 16 Style.

Disclaimer: The quotes in this article are completely fictional. While some of the thoughts and ideas are based on real-life events, they are not real quotes. Please note this story takes place between June 30-July 1, before a guy like Kawhi Leonard was traded, so he is still representing the Spurs, for example. 

This story is a two-day event (June 30-July 1) and highlights the thought process and conversations Lebron had with himself, other players, execs, and his agent Rich Paul to determine which team he will spend year 2016 with in 2018-19 season and possibly beyond.

[June 30]

Rich Paul (Lebron’s agent): Welcome! Thank you all for being here. Lebron appreciates all of the interest in is services and feels good about choosing one of you to play basketball for next year. I know we don’t have representatives of all 30 team yet, some execs will be joining us at midnight tonight. But in the meantime, it isn’t tampering for players to speak with other players. So we’re here to get a head start and pay respect to all 30 franchises over the next 2 days with the decision (3.0) coming tomorrow night live from the decision cave (link to decision cave article).

Chandler Parsons: Wait? Is this not the real bachelor? I got a hair cut and wore a suit because I thought I had a chance to find love?
Devin Booker: you always wear a suit!
Damian Lillard: No one has seen you in a jersey since you played for that guy (pointing at Mark Cuban)
(Parsons leaves, leaving 29 teams) 

Rich Paul: Anyway, as I was saying. Lebron is not that sure about what he wants to do yet, so he is excited to get to know some of you a little better and see where it goes. Others, may not be considered for long. King James will be arriving shortly. Until than, enjoy the champagne.

Russell Westbrook: Are there cupcakes to go with the champagne?

(everyone looks at Kevin Durant)

Kevin Durant: Man, I’m just here to see where Lebron goes, because if they have a chance to be better than the Warriors I may just sign there too. I’m all about these rings (shows off his two finals rings).
Russell Westbrook: Front runner.
Kevin Durant: What you say?
Russell Westbrook: Go eat a cupcake!
Kevin Durant: Why don’t you kiss my ringS. Or kiss one of my two NBA finals trophies.
(Durant walks by to a shoulder bump from Westbrook. The two start to brawl as other players separate them.)
Kevin Durant: Forget this man. I’m going home. I got Steph, Klay and Draymond. I don’t need Lebron to win my third ring next year. All we need is the Hamptons 5.
(as Durant walks out he starts texting, camera pans in to show him texting Boogie)
Russell Westbrook: Yeah, I’m out of here too. I don’t need this. I have a party to help plan tonight anyways (link to Paul George OKC party).

[27 attendees remaining] 

Lebron enters the room.

Lebron: Everyone. I appreciate everyone who made the trip to the third ever edition of “The Decision”. I understand a few players have voluntarily left and we are awaiting a few execs later this evening. While this is a major decision, only 8 of you will be taken under serious consideration tomorrow. I will be speaking to many of you individually today and let you know if you will be moving forward or if you should go home and consider other free agent options.
For now, I am here over the next 48 hours to find the best fit for me to take down the Warriors and build my post NBA career. Whose ready to win a championship?

Rich Paul: First up, Lebron is going to speak to a few of you individually. Can I ask that Victor Oladipo, Walt Frazier, Kawhi Leonard and Damian Lillard please join me in the living room. Lebron would like to speak with each of you at this time.

[Pacers guard Victor Oladipo walks up to Lebron and does the black panther greeting.]

Oladipo: Hey I just want you to know if you come to Indy, it’s like Black Panther teaming up with Iron Man, to take down the mighty Thanos led Warriors.
Lebron: I appreciate the sentiment, but I’m not really a superhero guy. My kids are but it’s hard to keep up. So many of them in the last movie. And Thanos? Isnt that Giannis Antetokounmpo brother? (referring to Thanasis)
Oladipo: We should have been teammates in Cleveland. I dont know why your management thought that fatty Anthony Bennett would be a better player than I am. I even played for Tom Crean, your boy Dwayne Wade could vouch for me.
Lebron: Indiana is a basketball state. Fan base their is extremely passionate and I respect it. But I’m going to have to ask you to leave, Vic. I wish you all the best and I look forward to seeing your game continue to grow.

[Knicks announcer Walt Frazier and Lebron James meet]

Clyde: I’m hear to wine and dine you. Tell you about playing for the Knicks and what it would be like for you to wear #6, in the orange and blue, you’ll have your own shoe. The city will love you. All of New York will stand and admire the king. You can take the young Frank Ntilikina and Kevin Knox under your wing. You can swish and dish your way to a triple double and help Enes Kanter stay out of trouble. You can drains threes from the top of the key and occasionally might want to pass to Courtney Lee. Tim Hardaway makes the most money on the team, which might make you want to scream. But you’ll have Kristaps Porzingis blocking shots and hitting threes and team up with Michael Bease, Reunite with David Fizdale your boy from Miami Heat, help Spike Lee find his front row seat, and play at Madison Square Garden the world’s most famous arena in front of sold out crowds every night, it’s such a beautiful sight.
Lebron: I dont know what you just said man. I have a lot of respect for you and everything you’ve done for the NBA. Take care.

[Lebron and Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard sit down]

Lebron: So whats up man. I’m surprised to see you here. Thought you wanted out of San Antonio.
Kawhi: yup.
Lebron: So why are you hear recruiting for them?
Kawhi: (blank stare)
Lebron: Playing for Pop must be nice though right? I mean I’ve had Spoelstra whose good but these other guys in Cleveland, they’ve been something else. I need some structure. I need someone to push me. I need someone like Pop, right?
Kawhi: (shrugs)
Lebron: You dont talk much do you?
Kawhi: (shakes head no)
Lebron: Alright, well let’s see what happens here alright?
Kawhi (shakes head yes)

[Lebron and Blazers guard Damian Lillard]

Lebron: Dame Dolla. What up
Lillard: Hey man, I appreciate you meeting with me.
Lebron: Yeah, it’s only out of respect for how good you are.
Lillard: I appreciate that! And listen, about what you said, that comment about the Blazers not taking Durant?
Lebron: Yeah, see about that. How can I trust a franchise that took Greg Oden over Kevin Durant. Even if it’s new management. I meant what I said. Plus, you’re a star. And your contract expires in 3 years. You wont be here much longer. I can see you in LA or Miami. A big city where you’ll have a real spotlight on you. Your future is bright wherever you go. Keep it up
Lillard: Thanks Lebron

(Rich Paul grabs Andrew Wiggins from the group and asks him to join upstairs)

[Rich Paul and  Wolves guard Andrew Wiggins talk in private]

Wiggins: I want you to know I’m very excited to talk to Lebron.
Rich Paul: Yeaaaah, Andrew. About that. Remember that time when Cleveland drafted you first, Lebron came home and didnt mention your name once in the article?
Wiggins: I try not to think about that
Rich Paul: King James has no interest in teaming with you. Your max contract is worse than Jordan Clarkson and JR Smith combined. All due respect to Mr. Towns and Mr. Butler, who are stars, you are not. And the team should have sent one of them to this meeting. Andrew, I am sorry but I have to ask that you leave.

Wiggins walks out and misses a jump shot

[22 teams remaining] ——————————————————————————————————————————————
[5 on 5 pick up game.]

Kyle Lowry, Devin Booker, Lauri Markanen, Paul Milsap, Blake Griffin 
Trae Young, Donovan Mitchell, Aaron Gordon, Giannis Antetekunmpo, Marvin Bagley 

[Lebron sitting in stands with Rich Paul discussing each player and team’s situations]
  • on Kyle Lowry/Raptors – “the guy is a pitbull. He’s a tough player. But I’m something like 200-0 against them in the playoffs. They do have Drake. I love his music. Plus, if I move to Canada and I can get away from Trump. It’s an intriguing thought. But on the other hand, Nick Nurse is an unproven coach and I need someone who can push me and help me grow in years 16 and beyond.
  • on Devin Booker/Suns – This team could be hot soon. With Booker, Josh Jackson, Deandre Ayton, I like what they’re doing. I could be the missing piece their and really help elevate them to the next level. But hot is also a play on words – do I really want my kids growing up in the dessert?
  • on Trae  Young/Hawks –  Dam, how many misses is that? (score keeper hands Lebron a sheet of paper ) Yo, he’s 12-55 from three? Daaaaam. Get him out of  here. Go trust the new process with the Hawks.
  • on Marvin Bagley/Kings – that kid was great in the tournament. You know I’ve only played with 4 rookies my 15 year career, right? He won’t be the 5th. Sacramento is where I played my first NBA game so it’ll always be sentimental. But I’ll keep visiting as a road opponent.
  • on Donovan Mitchell/Jazz – the spida! this guy should have been rookie of the year. Great young player. Jazz have a fun coach in Quin Snyder. Not sure Utah is where I want to raise my kids though.
  • on Giannis/Bucks – I could see me and Giannis dominating the league for the next 5 years (Rich Paul hands Lebron the Bucks ugly cap sheet). So you’re telling me there’s no way to make that happen? Alright. It is Milwaukee after all…
  • on Aaron Gordon/Magic – Orlando could be fun for my kids. I’m sure they’d love Disney and Universal.
    Rich Paul: You know, the Magic are the only eastern conference team you’ve never beaten in the playoffs, beside Miami and Cleve?
    Lebron: I did. And that’s why I can’t go there. So one day I can beat every team.
  • on Lauri/Bulls -I wasn’t really interested in Chicago in 2010. Why now?
  • on Paul Milsap/Nuggets:
    Rich Paul: Denver has been blowing up my phone. They’re really interested in you (link)
    Lebron: Denver’s cold.
    Rich Paul: It’s a very nice city though.
    Lebron: They do have some nice depth – Murray, Harris, Milsap, Jokic.
    Rich Paul: You could really help elevate them
    Lebron: I liked working with Mike Malone when he was an assistant with Cleveland
    Rich Paul: They really embrace their stars there. They loved Melo.
    Lebron: Until they ran him out of town
    Rich Paul: They loved Patrick Roy and Joe Sakic
    Lebron: Who?
    Rich Paul: They loved Peyton Manning
    Lebron: Until some fans wanted Brock Osweiler to start. Pass…
  • On Blake Griffin/Pistons –  I like Blake as a player. I’m not sure the fit makes sense there with me Blake, Andre Drummond?
    Rich Paul: I’m not sure it does either. Plus, Detroit winters are brutal
    Lebron: It would be nice to make amends with Dwane Casey but it would also be nice to keep beating him.

[12 teams remaining]

Next Group to meet with Lebron includes:
Gordon Hayward, Joel Embiid, Anthony Davis

[Lebron and Celtics forward Gordan Hayward]

Lebron: Hey man,, first off how’s the injury. You recovering okay?
Hayward: I’m good, thank you. Antsy to start the new season, I’ll be ready to go
Lebron: That’s great to hear. Anyways, how’s Kyrie doing?
Hayward: You know, same old. He talks about you a lot.
 Lebron: Oh yeah? anything good?
Hayward: Nope. Nothing good at all. Never anything good.
Lebron: That’s about right.
Hayward: Yeah, he’s very mopey. And demanding. Always wants the ball. Always wants the final shot. His face on the billboards, the commercials, the cups. He’s not really into sharing.
Lebron: Yeah he hates being second fiddle.
Hayward: I’m guessing you’re not coming to Boston, are you?
Lebron: Listen, I respect you and everything you’ve done to get to where you are today. You’re a great player and I wish you all the best in your recovery from injury. But I am not giving you a rose. I am not going to be a Boston Celtic. And I wont ever play with Kyrie Irving again
Hayward: Thank you, sir. Best of luck
(shakes hands)

[Lebron and Sixers center Joel “Process” Embiid]

Lebron: Joel I’m going to make this simple. I like what you guys have done over there. Brett Brown is a respectable head coach. Ben Simmons is a rising star. You surrounded yourselves with three point shooting and the fan base is as passionate as any. I’d love to talk more and get to know you and the team a little better tomorrow.

[Lebron and Pelicans star Anthony Davis] Lebron: Mr Brow. How are you
Davis: I’m good, King. How are you. How is all of this going for you.
Lebron: It’s fine. 2010 was the craziest. A bunch of teams made presentations for me. Some guys simply showed their rings, some dude showed up in a wheel chair (Walsh story). So this is nice, being able to connect with my peers.
Davis: Yeah I can’t wait to do this after my contract expires in 2021
Lebron: Oh?
Davis: Yeah, I mean New Orleans is great but no one really cares. It’s a drinking city first. Football second. And basketball is way down the list. It’s a cool city and all, but I need to be surrounded by better players. Like you, King!
Lebron: That’s flattering. But listen. You were the real MVP in 2018. Making the playoffs as a 6 seed, sweeping the Blazers with THAT roster? Outside of Rondo and Holiday who y’all got – E’twuan Moore? Nikola Mirotic? They’re fine players, but I’d rather stay in Cleveland with this old cast of misfits and know I can make the finals single handedly. Plus, my agent tells me you are over the cap so I’m not sure how this is possible.
Davis: Would it help if I pitched to you the high basketball IQ of Rondo?
Lebron: I love Rondo. We’ve had some great battles over the years and I wouldn’t mind playing with him some day. I just don’t think that day is going to be next year. In New Orleans at least.

[11 teams remaining]

June 30th Rose Ceremony:

Teams remaining: Lakers, Clippers, Cavs, Mavs, Nets, Hornets, Rockets, 76ers, Heat


[July 1]

Dan Gilbert, Mikal Prokorov, Mark Cuban, Jerry West, Magic Johnson, and Michael Jordan all arrive at the mansion at promptly 12:01.

Rich Paul: We’re going to have a little competition with this. What can you offer Lebron that he doesn’t already have.
Prokorov (Nets owner): Your own brand of Russian vodka
Cuban (Mavericks owner) : you know, I’m on Shark tank. You can pick any 3 companies that I have a piece of, and that piece is all yours, no strings attached. I’m also pretty close with Jerry Jones, the owner of your favorite NFL team. I can get you and the family season tickets midfield.
Jerry West (Clippers): What if we change the logo from my silhouette to yours?
Magic Johnson (Lakers owner): I can offer you the chance to run Hollywood and shut Lavar Ball up. I can give you a chance that Dan Gilbert and Pat Riley haven’t been able to offer you – a connection to your boss and to your front office team. You and I are a lot alike, and I would love the opportunity to explain myself further.

Lebron 1 on 1 with Hornets owner Michael Jordan

Lebron: Your airness…
MJ: King…
Lebron: So where do we start?
MJ: I’d like to start by pointing out that I have my own logo. My logo appears on the Hornets jerseys and several college jerseys, including my alma mater UNC.
Lebron: Ok cool
MJ: You don’t have a logo on your own jersey. Until you do, these silly computer types dont get to say you are better than me. Remember, I have 6 rings, and NCAA championship. You’ve never even been in the NCAA tournament. You never had to deal with Dennis Rodman. You didnt have to listen to Phil Jackson’s hippy nonsense and pretend to know the three sides of the triangle. You havent tried playing another sport. You never forced your team to draft a high school bust first overall and have to play side by side with him have you? You dont even know what adversity is young man. But you’re about to find out real quick.

(MJ takes off mic, gets up and walks out) 

Dan Gilbert goes to shake Lebron’s hand and Lebron ignores him. 

[FINAL 5 include Cavs, Rockets. Lakers, Heat, 76ers]

2 on 1 “date”

Lebron leaves the mansion to head to the beach with Rockets PG Chris Paul and Heat guard and former teammate Dwayne Wade right Banana Boat with Lebron

Lebron: Guys, today was the best day I’ve had since starting this process. I love y’all and look forward to many more banana boats and adventures with you and your families. Nothing personal, but I’m going to pass on joining the Rockets and Heat at this time. Dwayne – I’ve already done the Miami thing and I’m looking for a new challenge at this stage. Chris – it’s not you its…actually it is you. See, we’re boys. And I’ll always cherish our friendship. But here’s the thing. You and I are both getting old. And you’re body seems to be breaking down quickly. If it wasn’t for that leg injury, you and I would have faced off in the finals. But how can I trust that your body will hold up for 3-4 years? Plus Mike D’antoni has never been to the finals. He alienated our boy Melo in New York.

Wade: You know, in D’antoni’s defense. We alienated Melo too. Remember, he was part of the original banana boat crew. Why isn’t he here now?
Lebron: Melo is going through some things in OKC. I know he opted in to his deal, but he doesn’t seem to want to take on a smaller role.
Paul: I can get him to. Thanks bud. Thanks for calling me injury prone and turning us down. We have the M-V-P anyway and like you said, we were one game away from the finals without you. I’m going to reunite the banana boat with or without you

(Paul walks out and texts Hou GM Daryl Morey “#StayMe7o?”)

(Lebron and Wade shake hands)

Wade: Call me when you decide. I’d love to join up again, but I think my love for Miami is too strong. Especially if you stay in Cleveland. I won’t go back there.

Embiid: TRUST. THE. PROCESS. My King, I am honored you have chosen…
Lebron: Stop. I’m sorry Joel, but I want to say that I have a ton of respect for you and Ben Simmons and you guys are the future of the east and of the NBA. Best of luck to you.
Embiid: I want to be better than you! I am going to be better than you. We don’t need you.

[Embiid refuses to shake hand
Later that night, Embiid goes on twitter, instagram, snapchat and all forms of social media to bash Lebron James.] [2 teams remain – Cavs and Lakers]

Dan Gilbert to Lebron
Gilbert: I’m so happy we can continue this relationship. You’re going to make me a lot of money and I’m going to find you the best supporting cast I can.
Lebron: Dan, it’s over.
Gilbert: SCREW YOU! We’re better off without you. I’m tired of catering to your every demand. And paying the luxary tax for players who stink. Now I can promote Coby Altman to lead decision maker and Tyron Lue is responsible for drawing up plays as head coach. This franchise is going in a different direction. We’ll be better off without you. We will win a championship before you do.
Lebron: Ok…

(Lebron walks away…1 team remains)

Rich Paul sends Magic Johnson a text – Congrats with balloon emoji (insert link about article)
Magic arrives about Lebron’s LA mansion with GM Rob Pelinka and owner Jeanie Buss.
Magic: I’m so happy, Lebron. We’re gonna get you the best supporting cast there is. I’m going to add championship experience to this roster (McGee), toughness (Lance), versatility (Rondo), and guys that can influence your driving (KCP).
Lebron: Great
Magic: When was the last time you had a solid young core of players?
Lebron: Uh, never.
Magic: That’s right. We have Mo Wagner!
Lebron: I’ve only played with 4 rookies in my career so this guy better be good.
Magic: He is! So is Brandon Ingram, Kyle Kuzma, we call him Kuz fyi, Josh Hart, and Lonzo Ball.
Lebron: that’s fine, but if Lavar Ball says one thing about me, my wife, or my kids you…
Magic: Lonzo will be on the first flight to either Memphis or Atlanta. Don’t worry, King.
Lebron: Ingram is a good player. People compared him to Durant out of college so I’m excited to work with him.

(Lebron and Magic shake hands)

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