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LeBron James To Leave The Central Division?

If you're like me, chances are you're sick of hearing about LeBron James and "The Decision" he will make tonight. For years people have been counting down the days until LeBron decides one way or another, and for the last few weeks especially the amount of speculation and rumors has been absolutely ridiculous. The Tom Izzo saga was bad enough when it came to all of the rumors there were, but it pales in comparison to the ridiculousness of LeBron James and where he will go.

In case you have been living under a rock, LeBron James will announce which team he has chosen to play for tonight at 9 p.m. on ESPN, and ESPN Radio. Yes, LeBron's decision has received its own TV special on ESPN, which ought to be renamed "The LeBron Network" considering that's all that anyone seems to be talking about when I turn it on.

Although LeBron's decision won't be finalized until he actually announces something, the word from ESPN's Chris Broussard is that King James is leaning toward joining Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh down in Miami.

All indications are that LeBron James is leaning toward signing with the Miami Heat on Thursday night, according to several sources with knowledge of the situation.

Barring a late change of heart, sources say James has decided to join fellow All-Stars Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh to form a potential NBA powerhouse.

While the Heat would automatically become the favorites to win the Eastern Conference with a team consisting of LeBron, Wade and Bosh, the good thing about this for the Pistons is that King James would be out of the Central Division. By leaving Cleveland, the Cavaliers would quickly go from a contender to a pretty average team, leaving the Central wide open heading into the 2010-11 season.

Although the Pistons probably aren't ready to make a serious run just yet based on how badly this past season went, life in the Central would certainly be easier without LeBron. Sure, teams like the Bulls and Bucks are on the rise, but if Detroit can start to get back to its winning ways next season, then you never know what could happen. After all, even with LeBron, Cleveland was unable to win a division title until the last two seasons. Before that, the Pistons were at the top of the division for four straight years.

One player leaving a team in the same division as the Pistons won't suddenly turn things in Detroit around, but it will leave the Central Division up for grabs. That may not mean anything to the Pistons until their rebuilding process is complete, but at the very least, it means that Cleveland will suddenly become a much easier team to face. Also, if LeBron does in fact go to Miami instead of, say, Chicago, which was one of the favorites to land LeBron a couple weeks ago, then the Bulls will be much less likely to completely take over the Central.

At the end of the day, I'm going to be just as sick of hearing about LeBron James as all of you, but the one positive is that he could end up leaving the Pistons' division. Yes, he will still be in the Eastern Conference and the Heat will be an unstoppable force on paper if he heads to Miami, but right now the Pistons aren't exactly worried about making the NBA Finals or anything like that. Detroit needs to worry first about winning more games and being competitive with the other teams in their division, and LeBron leaving Cleveland and the Central would certainly make that easier to do.