Josh Levin writes that it's a bad idea for LeBron James to assemble a mini Dream Team to win a championship:
As a mere 25-year-old, LeBron hasn't yet endured Garnett-ian levels of toil. Changing cities would be a public concession that he couldn't make it happen in Cleveland. Joining Wade and Bosh would be even worse, a tacit admission that he doubts he can make it anywhere. Maybe it's telling that LeBron is a big Yankees fan: The best comparison here is Alex Rodriguez, a guy who gave up trying to be the world's best player and settled on being a member of the world's best roster. After moving to New York, A-Rod finally won his elusive World Series. Everybody still hates him.
LeBron's place in the NBA food chain is already a bit perilous: After this year's NBA Finals, Kobe Bryant was universally reanointed as the game's greatest player. Kobe sits astride the league, because he is basketball's biggest egomaniac. In 2004, Bryant presided over the destruction of the thrice-champion Los Angeles Lakers, transforming a franchise built around himself and Shaquille O'Neal into a one-man show. Having just secured his fifth title--and his second since L.A. traded its stalwart center--Kobe has met his goal: winning "one more [championship] than Shaq."
Of course, the Lakers aren't truly a one-man show--Kobe's team started its current run of titles after expropriating Pau Gasol from the Memphis Grizzlies. LeBron James' legacy, then, will rest on the perception among fans that he's won titles on his own, no matter who his teammates happen to be. A large part of Michael Jordan's legend stems from the fact that he won six titles with Scottie Pippen and a bunch of role players. Magic Johnson, by contrast, is probably underrated because he won all of his titles with loaded Lakers teams.That's why James' best option is the middle way, something between title-less, sidekick-free isolationism and FDR-esque court packing.
The rest is here. And I'm not sure that Mr. Levin is right. Imagine that a "Dream Team" could be assembled for five years, resulting in three or four championships. At the end of that run, LeBron James would still be relatively young. On the injury or free agency or retirement of one of his co-stars, he'd still get the chance to win a championship "on his own," just as Kobe Bryant won his first trio with Shaq, and went on to solidify his reputation by winning with a different team.
On the other hand, being "the man" from the get go means that LeBron might end up like Karl Malone or Charles Barkley: a guy who easily could've won a ring and a Finals MVP under the right circumstances, but who never did.