June 25, 2014 / 1:55 pm

The Throne of King James

Once again, LeBron proved why he’s the king—and it has nothing to do with rings, MVPs, or finals appearances.

King James reigns supreme over the NBA because his “Decision”—the sequel—now has the power to affect the decisions of 30 professional franchises entering the draft this Thursday.

Do teams trade their top players for picks and a chance to clear cap space?

Do they draft around LeBron—opting toward big men and away from ball-handlers and forwards?

These questions are bound to haunt GMs on the eve of Draft Night, and rightfully so.

Contemplating LeBron’s presence on any roster BUT Miami is nothing short of phantasmal.

Teams are planning around a ghost, and he will leave a gaping hole in any franchise willing to sell itself—and its prospects—short to attract him.

LeBron is undeniably the best player in the game, but his entering free agency does nothing to build professional basketball.

Rather, it undermines it.

The King supersedes all other superstars—turning talents like Blake Griffin and Carmelo Anthony into nothing but a bargaining chip, a sidekick to tag along the one-man show.

Talks of luring superpowers onto the same lineup—practically buying championships—has been a flaw in the makeup of professional basketball since LeBron took his talents to South Beach.

Now, this latest stunt by James demonstrates the NBA’s absolute futility.

The NFL’s best player is Peyton Manning, MLB’s is Miguel Cabrera, but those titles are highly contestable.

Only in the NBA is there one, undisputed leader.

Basketball is the only professional sport that can be dictated on pure dime, the only association that can be puppeteered by one master.

His name is King James.

LeBron knows he can toy with the open market, he knows teams will pull out all the stops to impress him, and he knows how to manipulate Miami into giving him the best deal possible.

He has become bigger than the game itself.

When this free agent circus is over and done, LeBron will still be a member of the Miami Heat.

But make no mistake—the throne of King James rests upon no lone organization.

Rather, it sits atop the NBA.

By Tori Ziege