Photo Credit: The Sports Digest
What a difference 13 months makes. Just last June, the Cleveland Cavaliers were on top of the basketball world after rallying from a 3-1 deficit in the NBA Finals against the 73-win Golden State Warriors. Now, there is internal chaos in Cleveland. But don’t let this distract you from the fact that LeBron is still LeBron, and no matter what happens, he’ll be carrying his team to the Finals yet again in 2018.
The chaos itself has, in large part, stemmed from Kyrie Irving’s trade request, which he reportedly believes LeBron actually leaked. Stephen A. Smith quoted sourced from LeBron’s camp that “if Kyrie Irving was in front of LeBron James right now, LeBron James would be tempted to beat his a$$.”
But don’t take this the wrong way. This is only because LeBron feels like he is being made look like a bad teammate. First off, without LeBron as a teammate, Kyrie (and pretty much everyone else he’s ever played with aside of Dwyane Wade) would be irrelevant, so he has a right to feel this way.
Let’s just use Kyrie as an example since he’s who all the recent talk is about. LeBron is pretty much the only reason Kyrie is relevant. Before LeBron came back to Cleveland, Kyrie was nothing more than a decent point guard on a below average team that never even made it into the playoffs. Then LeBron came along and took the team to three straight NBA Finals series from scratch pretty much. You see what I’m getting at?
So secondly, why would LeBron want to beat Kyrie for wanting to leave? LeBron has been to seven straight NBA Finals for a reason. Kyrie is not that reason, so with or without him, LeBron will be back again next year. Just look at his history. Without both Kyrie and Kevin Love in the 2015 NBA Finals, LeBron powered his team to two wins in five games against the eventual champion Golden State Warriors. He could honestly take a youth league team to the NBA Finals, and the fact that he has made seven straight Finals appearances with a variety of groups of players shows it.
And finally, while Kyrie got the praised for hitting the championship-winning shot last year, without LeBron, the Cavs would not have stood a chance. He averaged nearly a triple double and was responsible for an average of over 50 of the team’s points per game in the series.
LeBron could honestly care less about who his teammates are, and Kyrie is no exception to that. But he’s obviously going to care about being made out to be a bad teammate when he is one of the few reasons that many of his teammates over the years, including Kyrie, have been relevant in the NBA world.