LeBron James Unintentionally Rips Ex-Cavaliers Teammates

LeBron James’ decision to leave Cleveland for the Miami Heat was the most polarizing move in recent NBA history. While the fans in South Beach were ecstatic to have a super team, nearly everyone else criticized James for standing up Cleveland and selling out by joining “someone else’s team.” Even though there is no defense for the manner in which LeBron made his announcement, his choice to team up with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh was not only the right one, it was an admirable one.

The Cavaliers did not have the talent to beat the Magic, Celtics, or Lakers, so LeBron put his ego and money aside to join forces with players who could help him beat those teams. It’s hardly different from what Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen did in joining Paul Pierce in Boston, and it’s hardly different from Kobe demanding more help — and receiving it in Pau Gasol and Ron Artest. I always maintained that the biggest reason LeBron James didn’t win a title in Cleveland is because he lacked the support from his teammates.

After clinching his second career berth to the NBA Finals, he subtly said the same thing.

“I understand a lot of the backlash that came with me going to Miami, but I understand also that I did what was best for me, what was best for my family, and what was best for me being a professional athlete,” LeBron explained. “I understand what this league is all about. I wanted to team up with some guys that would never die down in the moment. The opportunity presented itself with this great organization and we made it happen.”

If you think I’m reading too much into that comment, I’ll respond with this: LeBron could have easily said “I wanted to team up with some of the best players in the League,” and that’s why I went to Miami. Had he said that, his message would have been the same. But something else came out, and it was a direct shot at his former Cavaliers teammates. He’s talking about guys like Mo Williams who completely tanked in the Orlando series in ’09 and against Boston in ’10. He’s talking about guys like Antawn Jamison who was totally outclassed by KG last year.

There were other ways for LeBron to say he left Cleveland for better teammates, but instead he said he wanted to be with guys who “would never die in the moment.” Whether he realized it or not, he identified the issue the Cavs had in the past — his teammates weren’t good enough to beat the best teams in the playoffs. Now he has one of the best players in the NBA by his side and another All-Star. If he can’t win a title this year, there will be no excuses. I don’t think he’ll have to make any.

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  • tesh sha

    “put his money and ego aside” – no he didn’t.  He’s in a big market team so the 10 mil less he took is made up for in ads and other forms of marketing and then some.  He’s scoring as much as he did in Cleveland and he isn’t playing too differently.  He has always been a great passer.

    What he did is VERY different from what KG/Allen did in ’08.  The GM’s talent was applauded for bringing in top notch players (who were also loyal players nearing the end of their careers).  On the other hand Lebron left his team (i.e. was disloyal in the prime of his career) and teamed up with Wade.  In both cases the players got what they wanted, but clearly one way is so much better than the other.  I swear if the Heat win a championship I will stop following the NBA.  I’m not going to watch the NBA turn into baseball.

    Please don’t bring Kobe into this.  Kobe DEMANDED a trade.  He spoke out strongly about the state of his team and his franchise responded.  Lebron NEVER spoke out against the franchise or his teammates and (according to forumers) approved of most if not all trades.  I know for a fact he approved of the Jamison trade and (based on my friends’ statements) counter intuitively preferred Jamison over Amare.  How the hell was the franchise supposed to know what Lebron wanted if he never said a damn thing?You have your facts wrong – Mo Williams failed against the Magic in ’09 NOT ’08 and also against the celtics in ’10 NOT ’09Most of this article consists of clueless blanket statements.  The only thing interesting about this article is the title which is a terrible way to get 1st time readers like me to come back.

  • http://larrybrownsports.com Larry Brown

    So now you’re blaming LeBron for not calling out his front office and demanding a trade if they didn’t upgrade the team? What a joke. Glad not to have first time readers like you back if that’s how you think.

  • tesh sha

    My comment isn’t anywhere as near as bad as your article.  I like how you changed the years too hah.  If you can’t even get your basic facts straight and actively alienate potential readers then you’re on the fast track to failure.

    I promise you that every chance I get I will bash this blog to hell.  Sorry, but you should know how to take harsh criticism a little better.