LeBron James is making an ultimatum for Pat Riley to improve the Heat's roster

LeBron's future depends on one thing: Pat Riley's ability to build a winner

6/25/14 in NBA   |   Pat   |   5232 respect

May 8, 2014; Miami, FL, USA; Miami Heat forward LeBron James (left) talks with center Chris Bosh (center) and  guard Dwyane Wade (right) during the second half in game two of the second round of the 2014 NBA Playoffs against the Brooklyn Nets at American Airlines Arena. Miami won 94-82. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY SportsLeBron James is already receiving criticism for opting out of his contract with the Heat, with some saying he has no loyalty, or that he's just a mercenary who needs to depend on other stars in order to win.

What many forget is that the NBA has never been a league that could be conquered with one superstar. No, really. There has never been a player who has single-handedly won a championship without at least one other star teammate. So why should we treat LeBron any differently, when he's just doing what every other player has done in the past?

Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, Bill Russell, Kobe Bryant, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and yes, LeBron James... every other superstar in the league who has won a championship has had significant help from his teammates.

LeBron realizes that the Heat, as currently constructed, aren't good enough to win a championship. They need to get better. That means they need to move some money around, bring in some more supporting pieces, get Dwyane Wade's salary under control, and put themselves in a position to win once again.

That could only happen by James, Wade and Chris Bosh opting out of their deals, and now they all have the flexibility to either let the Heat improve, or go elsewhere if it looks like that's not happening to a satisfactory level.

LeBron (and the rest of the Heat) will now be able to make the best move for both himself and his team. He'll be able to either push for the moves that will make the Heat the best team they can possibly be, or he can go to another team that will suddenly be the new favorite to win the NBA Championship merely because of his existence on their roster.

This isn't about loyalty. It's about the desire to win. We've always wanted it in our great champions, and now we have someone whose desire to win is impacting every move he makes. Perhaps you don't like the scientific nature of LeBron's moves, but there's no denying that he's doing his best to win. The same can't always be said for those around him.

Can't blame the man for trying.
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