Cavaliers forward LeBron James can become a free agent this summer. He’s expected to choose between returning to the Cavs or joining the Sixers, Rockets, or Lakers. Fans of various teams — not just the aforementioned three — have made great effort to try and recruit James to their teams, often renting billboards. For example, in February, Philadelphia displayed a series of billboards. One had James’ No. 23 in maroon along with four numbers in blue referencing Ben Simmons, Joel Embiid, Dario Saric, and Robert Covington. Other billboards said, “Complete The Process” and “#PhillyWantsLeBron.” James, by way, thought the billboards were “dope.”
James, 33, is among the greatest to ever play basketball and is often being compared to all-time great Michael Jordan. The Lehigh Valley IronPigs, the Triple-A affiliate of the Phillies, combined the drive to recruit James and the common comparison to Jordan with their own billboard. It said, “Our pitch… LeBron to the IronPigs.” That suggests, of course, James should try his hand at minor league baseball just like Jordan did in 1994 with the Birmingham Barons, the Double-A affiliate of the White Sox. Jordan performed poorly, batting .202/.289/.266 in 497 plate appearances.
The IronPigs also wrote an open letter to James.
We write you today with a plan that would be beneficial to us both.
If the goal is to be the greatest of all-time – the true GOAT – then you’re doing pretty well. Being the best player in this generation is nothing to sneeze at.
But there’s one major flaw in your quest. One glaring hole in your resume that continues to hold you back, that leaves you a clear level below Michael Jordan.
A season of mediocre play in Minor League Baseball.
Jordan knew this, which is why he stepped away from the NBA after his 31st birthday to spend a season in Birmingham. You’re already 33, and time is slipping away.
Could you hit better than .202 with 3 home runs and 51 RBI in 127 games? Those were Jordan’s numbers in Double-A. You could top that at the Triple-A level at the best ballpark in all of Minor League Baseball in front of 10,000 fans each night.
You could win 10 NBA titles and people would say “but MJ was a perfect 6-0 in the Finals.”
You could score more than 32,292 points and they’d say “but MJ did it in fewer games/fewer seasons.”
If you join the IronPigs and lead this team to the championship, only then will you be able to position yourself ahead of Jordan for the title of GOAT.
You’ve delivered titles to Miami and Cleveland on the hardwood, now it’s time to break out the cleats, pick up a bat and struggle through a summer of Minor League Baseball.
The choice is clear. Your legacy is on the line. We know you’re searching for the correct move to catch MJ and Coca-Cola Park is the place to find what you need.
Our President, Kurt Landes, will be in touch once the free agency window opens at 12:01 a.m. on July 1.
James played football for St. Vincent-St. Mary High School in Akron, Ohio. He was good enough to be recruited by some Division I schools like Notre Dame. He did not play baseball. Jordan, meanwhile, played basketball, football, and baseball at Emsley A. Laney High School in Wilmington, North Carolina. So, playing minor league baseball would presumably be a more difficult transition for James.
It’s almost certainly not going to happen, but it’s fun to think about. James would look good wearing a hat with a strip of bacon on it.