The Instigator
Pro (for)
0 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
3 Points

Lebron James should've signed with the New Jersey Nets

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Post Voting Period
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after 1 vote the winner is...
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 11/21/2011 Category: Sports
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,018 times Debate No: 19406
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (10)
Votes (1)




I'm pro saying that Lebron James should've gone to New Jersey. Con can advocate for anothe team he should've gone and/or say that New Jersey would be a bad fit for him.

Framework: I must prove that LJ should've gone to New Jersey for at least two solid reasons.

No new arguments 4th round. Post your case 2nd round.


I accept the debate. I also would urge the voters to vote upon which debater makes more convincing arguments to prove he should/shouldn't have gone to the New Jersey Nets. I'll wait for my opponent's case and make my own in the next round. Good luck!

Debate Round No. 1


Revised Framework: The pro must show that New Jersey would've been a good fit for him performance wise and image wise while the con must show that going to New Jersey would've been a bad idea for Lebron as a whole.

Another clarification: We are pretending he never signed with the Heat, so WE WILL BE DEBATING AS IF HE STILL NEEDS TO MAKE HIS DECISION. So, that is why my constructive and everything else will be in present tense. But, you don't have to prove that another team would've been better for him just that going to New Jersey would be a bad idea altogether.

On that note, because I see the benefits the New Jersey Nets can provide for Lebron James, I affirm the resolution stating resolved: Lebron James should sign with the New Jersey nets. I hold this stance for three main reasons: First, playing in New Jersey could greatly boost his image as a superstar athlete, second, young talent is already there for Lebron to work with and third, there can be a dominant dynasty with him as a net.

Contention 1: Playing in New Jersey could greatly boost his image as a superstar athlete.

When looking to almost any famous basketball superstar, including that of Michael Jordan, they have been able to take a struggling franchise and turn them around to be the greatest. The New Jersey Nets at the moment are struggling severely, as they only won 12 games in all of the 09-10. They are in desperate need of a superstar to take them to glory. Also, since New Jersey is a relatively new franchise, they have never had a real superstar take them on any sort of run in the NBA playoffs. Vince Carter has most of the records for them, and he is a whining, cocky premadonna who never gives back to society. Lebron on the other hand is known for serving his community, and already gives to tonnes of charities to begin with. He can also make a statement in the record books in New Jersey, just like how Michael Jordan tore down the record books as a Bull. With the economic struggles New Jersey is facing, and with their lack of decent sports teams at the moment, New Jersey citizens and sports fans need someone to rally behind. New Jersey is known for rallying behind their stars, and supporting them with open arms. Take goalie Martin Brodeur for example. Ever since he was drafted, people were always behind him, and when he lead the Devils to multiple Stanley Cups, fans rallied behind him, so much so that even in the twilight of his career, he remains as a Devil, with no complaints from the fans. He has become the man in the garden state, and is arguably the most famous athlete to ever play in New Jersey. However, his time is finished, and plans to retire in the near future, always playing as a devil, which leaves New Jersey sports fans looking for a new sports idol. Furthermore, people in New Jersey are not even major hockey fanatics, like those in Toronto. In fact, basketball is much more popular than hockey there. Imagine if someone as renown and talented like Lebron James went there. If they rallied behind Brodeur, imagine how they would treat Lebron James. Not only would his signing create a buzz from New Jersey sports fans, but he would get the positive support from fans that he needs. On top of his image being boosted through playing on New Jersey, he could jump start a career in television, as he can make guest appearances on shows shot in New Jersey, such as Jersey Shore. Clearly, going to New Jersey would provide many benefits for his image and for the sports fans of New Jersey.

Contention 2: Young Talent is already there for him to work with in New Jersey.

Despite their abysmal 12 win season in 09-10, New Jersey still has a lot of potential stars. There is Devin Harris, a on the rise point guard whose season was put to a grinding halt with injuries in the 09-10 season. He is fit to play this year, and shows lots of signs of being a potential NBA star. There is Brook Lopez, a 7 foot center who is known for dominating the rebound category, but not so much for scoring. Lastly, there is Derrick Favors, a newly drafted power forward who is expected to make an impact on both sides of the floor. While these players have tonnes of potential, the New Jersey Nets lacks in two key areas: Prolific scoring, and guidance, both of which can be covered by Lebron. While Harris is a talented player, he lacks the talent to carry a team singlehandedly and needs people to pass too. With the addition of Lebron, they can provide a duo combination threat, as both can drive, and shoot well. This also would take pressure on Favors and allow him to develop into a solid NBA player and allow for him to have better scoring chances, as both James and Harris could create more space for him to score. James is already a nightmare to defenses right now, even as being just a one man squad in Cleveland. With two key threats, they will both need to be covered greatly, leaving Favors with more opportunities to be open, and hit layups, which in turn can boost his confidence as a rookie power forward. Further, the addition of James could allow Lopez to focus on what he does best: rebounding. Quite frankly, James could benefit these three young prospects, and with them, he already has more than what he had on Cleveland: young and eager teammates with the potential to blossom as NBA all-stars.

Contention 3: There can be a dominant dynasty with him as a Net.

Where James goes, there is bound to be players that follow him. Chris Bosh for example, shows no intentions of staying the Raptors, and looks to be on the same team as him for the upcoming season. Also, since he is friends with Dwayne Wade, Wade could be motivated to sign with whoever James goes with. Since none of them play for the nets, the three of them could sign with the Nets and create the big three as all fresh faces. New Jersey has the cap space to sign all of them, so that wouldn't be a problem. With the three of them as mid-aged players, and with young talent on the rise, the team could not only make for a current dynasty, but for when they leave long after as well. Bosh and Favors could create a strong two power forward switch off, with Bosh as the mentor. Plus, the situation with Wade as well would make them a quadruple threat offensively, and give Harris tonnes to work with. This can not only boost Harris's confidence, but also give James, Bosh and Wade the point guard that they desperately need. With talent on the rise and with superstars that have the possibility of following James, the Nets could create the greatest dynasty in NBA history. There is no I in team, and the management in Cleveland never seemed to understand that. Even the greatest, including Michael Jordan, needed stars along their side. In Jordan's case, he had Rodman and Pippen. With James as a net, he could have Bosh and Wade, with potential stars or key role players as well. Clearly, the Nets could be one of the greatest NBA dynasties in NBA history.

For these reasons, I affirm the resolution.


I thank my opponent for his arguments and look forward to an interesting debate.

Framework:?? You have now contorted to the debate to a completely different debate. I'm not arguing on whether Lebron going to New Jersey was good or bad for that's completely different. The resolution says should he go/not, simple. You yourself stated in the first round "Con can advocate for another team he should've gone and/or say that New Jersey would be a bad fit for him." I will be arguing this throughout today's debate.

Clarification: I agree that this is before he signed with the Heat and we have to look at this from a Lebron perspective, not where we want him to go but where should HE go based in his decision.

R1: "Superstar" Athlete Argument

This argument unfortunately seems to come from the benefit of New Jersey perspective. I find the Jersey Shore argument rather silly. I don't see how Lebron going to a team that had virtually no chance of winning a championship would make him a "superstar". The New Jersey Nets had the worst record in the NBA the year before he had to decide whether to go or not at a terrible 12-70. [1] Also Michael Jordan had an amazing supporting crew with Scotty Pippen, Steve Kerr, and Dennis Rodman. At New Jersey we see no real reliable presence that can adequately supply Lebron with his "Robin", like Scotty Pippen did. Lebron's intention at the time was not to become a superstar but rather to win a championship which I will refer to later. We also see NO EVIDENCE for this claim whatsoever, rather a New Jersey fan's fatalistic attempt to portray Lebron as a superhero. Lebron very well could've gone to another weak team like Minnesota Grizzlies and be a "superstar". Finally you do already know Lebron is a superstar, right?

R2: Young Talent

While I have the utmost respect for Devin Harris and Brook Lopez, Lebron's best interest was not by any means to play with them or to look for "young" stars. He did have young stars on Cleveland as well. Booby Gibson, DeLonte West, and others were all young stars. Now what wins championships? Teamwork, experience, and talent. Since I'm pretty sure my opponent agrees that the Miami Heat have far more experience, the other easy way to prove this argument false is straight statistics. Dwayne Wade that year averaged 26.6 Points Per Game and 6.5 Assists PG[2] and is considered in the third best NBA player right behind in 2009. [3] Devin Harris who my opponent advocates as a strong player averaged 16.6 PPG and 6.6 AG, .1 over Dwayne Wade even when Harris is a Point Guard. [4] Now onto Brook Lopez vs. Chris Bosh. Brook Lopez averaged 18.8 PPG and 8.7 Rebounds Per Game. Seems pretty good for him, no? Now let's look at Chris Bosh's statistics. Chris averaged 24.0 PPG and 10.8 RPG, statistics clearly better than Brook. Chris is also far more experienced than Brook although Brook is a good player, he just wasn't ready yet.

R3: There can be a "dynasty"

My opponent seems to be confused on this one. He is now advocating for Lebron to join with Wade and Bosh. However Bosh and Wade had already signed with the Miami Heat and there was no apparent way for them to "switch" to the Nets. Bosh and Wade signed with the Heat on July 7th 2010. [6] Lebron decided to sign with the Heat two days after. [7] I see no feasible evidence that Bosh and Wade would go to the Nets, so we have to assume that they were going to go to Miami because of their personal reasons and it was of Lebron's best interest to follow them.

C1: Lebron's best interest was to win a championship which the Nets showed no signs of being capable to and the Miami Heat did. "It's going to give me the best opportunity to win," James said. "We're going to be a real good team."[7] It was apparent that Lebron's goal was to win a championship. Lebron has always wanted one and could never quite get it. He needed something to push him over the edge and finally get him that ring. Let's look at another quote from Lebron. "I can't say it was always in my plans, because I never thought it was possible," said James, who wrestled with his decision for weeks. "But the things that the Miami Heat franchise have done, to free up cap space and be able to put themselves in a position this summer to have all three of us, it was hard to turn down. [7] New Jersey Nets did not free up cap space for the three to join for they new Bosh and Wade were definitely signing with the Heat. Think about it, why would Wade leave the team he's played with his entire career and has already won a championship with them? After a 12-70 Lebron had no reason to believe that the Nets were good. Lebron easily won the series with the Nets and did not consider them a great team to sign with. In fact at the time of the "Decision", Nets were not by any means a viable option for it was either Knicks with 'Melo or the Heat. Lebron needed a superstar to play with for a championship. There is almost no way that the Nets could've taken down the Lakers, per se.

Since it's Thanksgiving and I am rather busy this is all I have to post for today. As we can see my opponent's case has been successfully refuted and I have proven that Lebron's best interest was to sign with Miami and that is how the resolution should be judged. Thanks and I urge a CON ballot.

Debate Round No. 2


First off, I apologize to my opponent for changing the framework, I was trying to cater to what he wanted because he didn't seem interested in advocating for another team. So, well just go back to the terms that I set first round.

My first contention response.

I never said Lebron is not a superstar already, I'm saying that in general, going to New Jersey
Would help his image even more because of New Jersey' falling status. They need someone with high caliber talent to turn them around. He was able to singlehandedly turn around the Cavaliers as a young adult, and now that he is older, he has even more experience to do so. Plus, by taking a team like the Nets, and making the Playoffs with them would greatly boost his image. I did have evidence as with Martin Brodeur, New Jersey fans have treated him very well due to his success he's found with their team. So, there is no reason why New Jersey wouldn't treat Lebron with respect. While Harris and Lopez young, they still have potential to blossom into stars and be a proper supporting cast to James. As for the Jersey Shore part, there are other ways he can boost his image through New Jersey, that is just a possibility. While Lebron says he has no interest in going to New Jersey, that doesn't mean he wouldn't make a good fit for the team, and he could still go there. While Cleveland did have some rising stars, it was not to the extent to what the Nets have. One of the key reasons for their lackluster season was due to injuries, but Harris and Lopez are back to being healthy again, so they can perform at their best.
So, James has a lot to work with in New Jersey despite their 12-70 season. While there are other failing teams right now ( I think he meant to say either Minesota Timberwolves or Memphis Grizzlies) Neither team is ultimately in need of a shooting guard or small forward, while New Jersey is in desperate need of one, so Lebron fits the bill for New Jersey much better than any other team.

C2 response.

My opponent is saying that the Miami heat is better for him because they have experience, but the experience gap between the two teams isn't as big as my opponent thinks it is. Bosh never got passed the first round of the playoffs and the only two players left on Miami with experience are Wade and Haslem. The numbers of Lopez are greater than Haslem's, even though he is a center and considering he only averaged less than 6 points per game than Bosh as a center while Bosh is a power forward shows that he has more potential to succeed, while Bosh is in his prime at the moment. Also, there is the Derrick Favors factor too. He has the tools to be a great role player in the NBA with proper guidance. If the Nets can get on streak to make the playoffs a few times in a row, the confidence and experience will only grow with these young players. As for the comparison with Wade and Harris, the key reason for Wade's great numbers are for two key reasons:

1. Miami's game plan was to give the ball to him at all costs, while with Harris, that wasn't the case.
2. He is in his prime right now while Harris is just starting.

So clearly, going off of Harris's numbers, they only really can go up from here, especially since he posted these during their 12-70 season.

C3 response:

I was not confused on this one, I wanted the time period to be before the big three
Made their decisions. But, I will accept your terms on this one that it is only Lebron left. My point with this one is that New Jersey still has the ability to sign other talented players even after signing Lebron. There is the option with Anthony as well as Deron Williams, who the Nets could either trade or sign in upcoming seasons. So, Lebron has the ability to attract talent when he signs. The ultimate problem with Miami is that they have zero upcoming talent, and will only be able to sign castaways after signing Lebron. The will barely be able to have 8-9 people on their team, and may not be able to find proper talent to fill the point guard and center position, while New Jersey not only has talent developing, they have the ability to sign a few more stars to go with Lebron.

His contention with Miami response:
The ultimate problem with going to Miami is that it scars his image. First, signing with them makes it look like he copped out to win a championship, whereas with New Jersey, he still has to help talent develop and if other players sign, it's because of him not because he copped out. Also, no matter how many championships he wins, Wade will always have one more as a member of the Heat, making it his team, not Lebron's. Because New Jersey is a newer franchise, he has the ability to shape them into his team and make a statement as a member of their team in the team record books, making him the undisputed legend + leader with the team. He can decide the fate of New Jersey, and bring positive energy to their fans and team, just like he did with Cleveland. The potential talent is there, and New Jersey can still sign other talented players just in case their talent doesn't properly develop.

I thank my opponent for his case, it is much appreciated. Once again, I apologize for the framework, it didn't seem like you wanted to advocate for another team.

For these reasons, I urge a pro ballot in today's round. Thank you.


I thank my opponent for his intent response.

I am glad we now agree on a framework.


R1: I don't think that New Jersey wouldn't treat Lebron with respect what I was trying to say is that your claim that he will become a superstar is invalid because he already is one. I see no evidence that he will become more of a superstar so maintaining his superstar status is irrelevant. You do realize that the fan base that wanted Lebron to go to Miami is much higher than the fan base that wanted him to go to New Jersey, right? People who do not live in Miami wanted him to go to Miami. The amount of fans he would have in Miami is huge compared to New Jersey. Keep in mind all the Wade and Bosh fans would become Lebron fans as well. Harris and Lopez were not injured to the extent you are discussing. Devin Harris played 64/81 games in the 09-10 season. [1] Brook Lopez played every single game in the 09-10 season. [2] I think my evidence has already shown that the Miami crew was far superior to the New Jersey crew and had a much higher chance of winning the championship. Lebron James didn't have the time to stay another 6 year in New Jersey and then maybe win a championship. Lebron was already getting criticized by bloggers and other announcers for not winning a championship. Haven't you ever heard the joke: Why didn't Lebron go to college? Because he didn't want to show up for finals. Lebron had a negative connotation in terms of championships and needed to get that off his back. Keep in mind how many championships in the next ten years the Heat can win.

R2: Keep in mind when we refer to "experience" we don't just refer to playoff experience. I am discussing the experience of playing basketball in the NBA. Chris Bosh has proved himself a prominent and strong player in the post. He has received six All-Star nominations out of his eight years. [3] My dear opponent, what makes you think that only Wade and Haslem are the only experienced ones? Keep in mind Mike Bibby has eight years of playoff experience. [4] If you add up the amount of experience in years for the Miami Heat you get a whopping 126 years. [5] The experience in New Jersey is only 71. [6] There is much more experience on the Miami Heat team and Lebron didn't want to go to Cleveland all over again and hope that just maybe they can get a lucky run. You do realize that Derrick Favors was drafted after Lebron had to make his decision, right? As I stated earlier Lebron made his decision June 4th. The NBA Draft took place on June 24th, 2010. [7] I don't know where you get this idea that Wade had the ball all the time. Wade had assists too. My opponent seems to run the "he's in the prime" excuse however that's exactly my point. These players are in their prime and are READY to win a championship. Remember Lebron wanted to win a championship now, not in ten years. Regardless if we were to compare Wade's stats a few years back with Devin's stats, Wade's would still be a lot better.

R3: My opponent needs to get his facts straight. Carmelo Anthony had already signed with the Knicks months before in February. [8] He was not going to switch to accommodate Lebron. Nobody knew that Deron Williams would sign with the Nets until way after. Williams was traded to the nets on February 23, 2011. [9] These new arguments on his supporting casts are completely futile and are not applicable to the debate. Lebron didn't attract much talent in Cleveland for it was mostly a one man show. I don't know where this claim comes from. Perhaps he can attract decent players but not superstars. Wade, Bosh, Bibby, and House are not talent? Wade and Bosh will last another 10 years minimum and House and Bibby another six years. There is plenty of time to find replacements and many players would want to play for the Heat because of their strong core talent. In terms of the point guard they have a lot of talent as a matter of fact. Mario Chalmers, Mike Bibby, and Eddie House are all talented point guards. In terms of centers they have the young and hard-working Joel Anthony and the experienced Jamal Magloire.

R4: Lebron's Image
Lebron had no intention of worrying about his image. Lebron wanted one thing and one thing only, to win. He had immense potential in Miami and that was the best option without a doubt in terms of winning a championship. Lebron was warmly welcomed into Miami and was ready to win a championship. He picked up a lot of fans in Miami and lost a lot in Cleveland however the Cleveland fans would've been lost either way. The point is Lebron did not completely ruin his image and regardless that wasn't his intention. He didn't care what any other team thought about him. All he wanted was to win and that is what Miami offered. Again my opponent's arguments circle around the "what if" or "maybe" possibility. It did not work out in Cleveland and there is no evidence that it will work out in New Jersey. I highly doubt Lebron has the time to wait another eight years and hope to catch up with the powerhouse that the Lakers are building. Keep in mind how many superstars other teams have. New Jersey had none, just one or two stars. Lebron needed to win and that was his intention. Lebron couldn't do it by himself and wouldn't have been able to do it in New Jersey.

Conclusion: We see that my opponents arguments focus on a possibility for success while mine focus on definite success because of the strong supporting cast. My opponent's response to my contention about how strong Miami is was futile. Miami is still and will be a much stronger team with a far better record. Since my opponent agrees that Lebron's intention was to win a championship he has to prove how New Jersey would win a championship which he has failed to do so. Keep in mind arguments in last round=bad conduct. My opponent's contentions seem to be crumbling and the Anthony and Williams possibility were impossible and farfetched. However I thank my opponent for his intent response and for putting up a great debate. For these reasons I urge a CON ballot.


Debate Round No. 3




I take it PRO forfeits. Arguments extended
Voting Guide:
Conduct-Forfeit from PRO gives me automatic point
Arguments-Everything from PRO was refuted and based off of a "what if" stance, just read the debate and you will see that I shot down every point and mine still stands.
Sources-PRO provided no sources while I supplied many
Spelling and Grammar-Tied

Debate Round No. 4
10 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by wittetye 6 years ago
Lebron would be a superstar anywhere but he wouldnt have had a chance at a ring with the nets.
Posted by stubsmagee 6 years ago
stubsmagee good article on the nba
Posted by lolcannons 6 years ago
Championship wise- Yes, you nailed that one right on the head in this round.
Image Wise- No, he's one of the most hated basketball players ever now because of his decision.
Posted by cameronl35 6 years ago
well it wouldn't have been a bad choice it just would not have been as good as Miami
Posted by lolcannons 6 years ago
To be honest probably not. I'm just trying to think of his different options and what he could've done. New Jersey did have some potential before trading Harris and Favors for Williams. Plus, they had tonnes of cap space in the offseason, like the Knicks and Heat did.
Posted by cameronl35 6 years ago
Partially agree with that Maikuru however I don't really see how Lebron going to New Jersey was plausible..he could go to the Timberwolves or somewhere and become a "superstar"..but really does anyone think New Jersey has a chance of winning?
Posted by Maikuru 6 years ago
Nobody should go to New Jersey. Resolution negated.
Posted by Viper-King 6 years ago
i feel bad for you
Posted by cameronl35 6 years ago
That's unfortunate but I urge the voters to vote on their discretion
Posted by lolcannons 6 years ago
Wow, my friend wanted to post the last argument for me and that is all he put... Never trusting him again on this site.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Viper-King 6 years ago
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Conduct:Forfeit Argument: Equality Sources: Proven