LeBron James is an unrestricted free agent and the Phoenix Suns are one of many teams who will be seeking his talents. Regardless of the outcome of their hunt for the Holy Grail of the NBA, the Suns can't lose.
I don't know if the Phoenix Suns have a legitimate and realistic chance of landing LeBron James and neither do you. It's technically possible in the "anything is possible" and "cap space" sense. Beyond that? Who the hell knows the mind of a THE KING. He is a whimsical creature not known for following the rules that govern mere mortal behaviors when it comes to either gravity or employment decisions. He takes his talents where he will.
Oh, to be THE KING.
What is very clear is the Suns have already won just by being associated with the physical embodiment of basketball perfection. The moment Woj dropped his bomb on Yahoo!, Ryan McDonough and Lon Babby crossed the finish line with their hands raised.
Even from afar (I now live on the eastern coast of the realm) I can feel the excitement from Suns fans in the Valley. Talk radio and the Twitterati are aglow and all the discussion both locally and nationally is positive and hopeful. That's quite the turnaround from this time last year. Or the year before. Or the year before. Or the year before. Or the year before.
Even better, the Suns front office is being recognized and praised for their achievements in skillful asset acquisition and financial management. They've done nothing this week to change anything about their assets or finances and yet here they are, basking in the glow of their prior accomplishments as the fickle beam of national attention focuses its favor on the US Airways Center.
Victory doesn't always come in wins and losses.
Even Robert Sarver may finally be escaping from under the "cheapskate" mantle which was always an ill-fitting label but something he earned through a few bad basketball decisions and even worse management of his image. Suddenly "Banker Bob" is a guy who can't wait to spend into the luxury tax (as if any sane owner wouldn't gladly spend into the luxury tax to surround THE KING with a contending team).
That's the way of things with public perception. Sometimes you are the dog when it's underserved and sometimes you are the hero for doing the obvious. Smart organizations understand how to put their finger on that scale. It's something the Suns have struggled with for many years but with this one leak* of relatively obvious news -- The Suns pursuit of LeBron shouldn't exactly be a surprise to anyone -- they've come out as winners even if LeBron's talents stay in South Beach.
*I have no idea if this leak originated on Jefferson Ave. but I'd certainly like to think the revitalized Suns front office deserves credit for this shrewd bit of public diplomacy.
I would be shocked (gobsmacked really) if LeBron puts on the purple and orange but I fully expect the team to continue to improve. This little bit of fun rumor is a wake up call to many casual fans in Arizona and beyond to expect the same.
A postscript: All of this wouldn't be possible if the Suns had followed the "expert advice" and tanked last season. By proving their promise they are in the hunt for THE KING or various other princes evaluating the market. That's certainly worth ten spots in the draft.