The Decision was bad. Everyone agrees. Even LeBron James has apologized and expressed regret for how he announced his departure from Cleveland for Miami in 2010. (Just don’t don’t think too hard about how similar The Decision was to the nationally televised recruiting announcements celebrated annually.)
Anyway, some people – including then-NBA commissioner David Stern – foresaw the negative consequences.
Zach Lowe of ESPN, quoting Ian Thomsen’s “The Soul of Basketball“:
“It was terrible,” Stern would say. “It was terrible on its own. It is fair to say that we knew it was going to be terrible, and we tried very hard for it not to happen.”