LeBron James And Dwyane Wade Together?

If LeBron James and Dwyane Wade join forces, who will be happier: Basketball fans or Nike marketing executives?

It’s the one thing that could have the Lakers and Celtics checking their rear view mirror — Dwayne Wade and LeBron James on the same team.

The two are free agents this summer, and they are talking about joining forces.

"Before we agreed to terms, LeBron and I had a couple conversations," Wade said. "I can't recall exactly what we said, but the gist of it was we wanted to give ourselves the flexibility and the option to play together.

"A lot of times in this league, players usually wind up going where they can get the most money. We're both blessed within that area. We've made a lot of money. So we wanted to base our decision on two things, the organization and the ability to win a title. And that's what we'll do. When the season is over, we plan to sit down and talk about it.

"I'm not saying it will happen. But I'm intrigued by the idea.”

While Nike marketing executives just started drooling at the prospect (Nike owns Converse), coaches around the NBA just got a shudder down their spine. Wade and LeBron are two of the most dominant wing players in the league, guys with the ability to single-handedly break down a defense and score almost at will. They are two of only a handful of players who can win an NBA game by just deciding to take it over. Defending one is nearly impossible; together it may not be nearly anymore.

The most dangerous part is, these are two unselfish players who can and will pass. They make smart basketball decisions. Often, if you are LeBron James, the smart basketball decision is for you to take the shot, but he has also passed to open teammates with the game on the line. Unlike a lot of superstars, these two could play together, like they did at the Beijing Olympics.

However, two superstars alone do not mean you automatically get a ring — just as Karl Malone and John Stockton. The interesting part would be finding a team with the cap space to sign both of them, even at a reduced price, and that has a core of quality role players to put around them. Oddly, the two-win New Jersey Nets, with emerging center Brook Lopez and some other quality young players and plenty of cap space, might not be a bad place. Or Miami, where Wade could resign and LeBron could come in.
Like Wade said, it may not happen. But fans of basketball are wishing for the pairing almost as much as those Nike executives.

Kurt Helin lives in Los Angeles where he is runs the NBA/Lakers blog Forum Blue & Gold (which you can also follow in twitter).

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