Why Adding LeBron James Makes No Sense for the Warriors

CLEVELAND -- From the start of his co-ownership of the Warriors, CEO Joe Lacob has displayed a thundering ambition to build the NBA's best franchise, with the team also meeting that standard.

There are limits, though, and that's why the idea of LeBron James signing a contract with the Warriors in July doesn't add up, and not just because it would send the payroll somewhere north of the moon.

Even if a James signing wouldn't destroy the bottom line, it would be irresponsible.

The Warriors most valuable asset is their chemistry. It is rare, it is delicate and it is the No. 1 reason for their success over the past four years.

The No. 1 element in that chemistry is Stephen Curry. It is his inner serenity and outward ferocity that commands the respect of teammates and coaches and everybody in the building.

The Warriors are Curry's team and he is the balance they need. He is the low-key alpha essential to this team maintaining its delicate balance -- on and off the court. Everybody drawing a paycheck, or signing one, understands that. Which means there is no room for an additional superstar who takes up so much oxygen.

Adding Kevin Durant is one thing, and something Curry was eager to co-sign on that move. If he had not, the Warriors would not have chased Durant and Durant would not have felt welcome to join.

Durant, however, is much easier to add to the chemistry. He doesn't crave the spotlight. He doesn't insist on being the face of the franchise. He has not spent the better part of the last 20 years referring to himself as "The King."

Don't get me wrong. James is the best overall player in the NBA. If he's not on the list of the five best players of all time, the list should be shredded. Wherever LeBron goes, it alters the balance of power in the league.

Nobody knows this better than he.

So, yes, he would be willing to "have a conversation" with the Warriors, as ESPN's Stephen A. Smith claimed on Wednesday. James can opt out of his contract with the Cavaliers and become free agent next month. He is expected to do that, and surely would pursue all interesting possibilities.

The Warriors, however, can't be so blind with aspiration that they would spend valuable time negotiating with James, even if he would sign a minimum salary.

LeBron wants to run things. He requires a wide berth. He demands much and expects more.

No matter how ambitious the Warriors are, they know that in adding James there is much more that could go sour than sweet.

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