Since LeBron "took his talents to South Beach" a lot of people have been talking about a trend of NBA players fleeing to big markets, but when I googled the top U.S. TV markets Miami isn't even in the top 10.
As a matter of fact, most of the lists I found have Miami listed one spot ahead of Cleveland at 16. Certainly nothing to sneeze at but definitely not a huge jump.
With the new CBA negotiations coming, I'm sure we're going to hear a lot of garbage about NBA Execs from "small" market teams wanting to safeguard against their best talent fleeing for the big city lights but I don't think LeBron going from Cleveland (#17) to Miami (#16) qualifies as a true example.
Like him or not, LeBron left b/c he thought his best shot at winning multiple titles was in Miami. Hopefully the next CBA doesn't do anything to drastically hinder Free Agency like a franchise tag.
As far as I'm concerned if a small market team wants to keep their superstars, their best bet is to build a winner around them. (& it can be done. Just look at San Antonio).
Hopefully it's not lost on the CBA discussions, that the competency and skill of NBA executives is almost just as important to winning as the talent of the players. Nobody forced GM's to overpay the likes of Gilbert Arenas, Rashard Lewis, and tho he's not bad, Joe Johnson. (No way he's worth a 100+ million dollar contract.) & had Cleveland brought in young talent around James like OKC has done w/KD, maybe they'd still have LeBron.
Yeah, I've lived in Florida for about 5 years now. Spent a couple of Spring Breaks and vacations in Miami so I know the attraction of the city pretty well.
I'm just saying that for great NBA players, winning comes first. Markets matter some, but you build a contender and they will come or they will stay. It probably depends more on the value system of the players individually.