With the Cleveland Cavaliers eliminated from the NBA playoffs, it's now time to focus on the big question of the coming off-season - which team will Cavs mega-star LeBron James sign with as a free agent?
Cleveland can retain his services with a max contract worth $126 million over six years. The New York Knicks might be the favorite in the LeBron James sweepstakes - the organization can offer him around $19 million per year to play in the largest media market in the country. However, there's one deal that has secretly been submitted to King James that may trump them all.
And that's to become King James.
In an unprecedented move, the Antananarivo Lemurs of the Madagascar Basketball Association (MBA) have come up with a deal that will not only make LeBron the richest athlete in the world at 104 billion Malagasy Ariaries per season (approximately $50 million) but will also install LeBron as the King of Madagascar. Additionally, he will have a no-trade clause.
The Lemurs conceived of the deal following the tragic death of team captain Didier Ravalomana at the hands of Somali pirates during his off-season job on a fishing boat.
Team advisors then met with Prime Minister Albert Camille Vital who agreed to dissolve the Senate and rewrite the constitution to gently shift the tiny island nation from a semi-presidential representative democratic republic to a full-fledged monarchy if LeBron was to ascend to the crown and become the Lemurs new power forward.
Crowning James would have huge ramifications for the Antananarivo Lemurs as the team hasn't won a title since the league formed three years ago. With the average height of MBA players just a hair under five-foot-four, experts believe that the reign of six-foot-eight King James could include a scoring average of 63 points per game to go along with 41 rebounds and 29 assists.
LeBron would have his hands full off the court as well - the Madagascan economy has an unemployment rate of forty-five percent, the last dry season eviscerated most of the country's crops and there's an ever-growing threat of Marxist rebels in the north.
James wouldn't be the first NBA to go Malagasy. In 2007, Raj Lewis, a journeyman who spent time with the Atlantic Hawks and the Utah Jazz, played five games with the Fianarantsoa Tropics before the aforementioned Marxist rebels in the north kidnapped him. Tropics G.M. Josoa Rajaonarivelo is still awaiting proof of life.
The biggest question facing LeBron James is: Would joining the Lemurs lead him to his first championship? It's hard to say with all of the off court distractions King James will most certainly face. He must rebuild not only the team, but the team's arena as well - last winter's tsunami washed the Antananarivo Field House and Sugar Cane Farm out to sea. On the upside, all of King James's potential opponents, both on the basketball court and in his royal court, would be worried that the Royal Gendarmerie will round up them and their loved ones under the cover of night and make them disappear if they dare challenge King James's supremacy.
Ultimately, if King James is interested in holding any title over his head in the near future it will be the King James MBA Championship Trophy as he's cheered on by thousands of proud Malagasy in the King James Civic Center.
Otherwise, all LeBron will be holding is a big old check from the New York Knicks.