LeBron to Miami: Impact on the Houston Rockets

LeBron James is joining the Miami Heat. (Perhaps you have heard this already. The media does seem to have covered the issue.) Although James will not be joining the Rockets, this is still good news for the Rockets for two reasons:

  1. James stays in the East.

  2. He doesn’t go to New York, which means those draft picks Daryl Morey stole from the Knicks for the ghost of TMac (semi-protected rights to switch next year, and their semi-protected 2012 pick outright) look to remain mid-level lottery picks.

The consensus out there is that, once again, the Knicks screwed up, and, once again, Daryl Morey made out like a bandit.

(As I was finishing up this post, I noticed that Tom Martin over at SB Nation made many of the same points.)

As far as James himself is concerned, I won’t say that the outraged vitriol is surprising (it is, after all, American professional sports in the 21st century, but I do think it’s misplaced. James made a professional business decision of where he could best win championships, and Cleveland lost out on entirely understandable and indeed totally rational criteria. Of course, if sports fans were rational, they wouldn’t develop an emotional attachment to athletically talented millionaires who just happen to be plying their trade in their city of choice in any particular year. (Cue Jerry Seinfeld’s rooting for laundry bit.) Some may think my attitude on James hypocritical given my loathing of Bud Adams, but there’s one key difference: to the best of my knowledge, James never received tens of millions of dollars in direct taxpayer subsidies before leaving town.

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