Re: Discuss losing LeBron James from the Cleveland Cavaliers perspective
I see a lot of blame going to Dan Gilbert of creating this Lebron "monster". Saying that his constant pampering of his star bit him in the ass.
But what else could the Cavs have done? I'm saying the Cavs, because I talk about the whole organization. From Ferry to Brown, to the custodians and the announcers, and to the players as well.
The Cavs were always under constant pressure to win "now". Ever since James' sophomore season, it has always been "trying to get one more guy to get them over the top".
Larry Hughes was a phenomenal mistake. But the Cavs struck out of Ray Allen and Michael Redd. Sure they could have just NOT signed him but they had to do something because they had to win "now".
When Boozer bamboozled the Cavs they immediately got Drew Gooden. Not the brightest of decisions but they did feel they had to get a replacement in order to remain competitive. Gooden's no Boozer but he did play good for the Cavs.
Boobie Gibson played exceptionally well vs. the Pistons some years ago. People were calling him to be Chauncey Billups part 2. Cavs overpaid to keep him around. Obviously his was just a flash in the pan.
Shannon Brown was drafted by the Cavs. He ended up playing a big role in the Lakers championships. Maybe the Cavs should have stuck with him. Well they didn't because they had to win now. Maybe he'd do a better job than Gibson did recently.
Delonte, Ben Wallace, Wally Z were all received in exchange for Larry Hughes and Drew Gooden. Again, this looks like the Cavs management trying its best to get something for Larry, who didn't really fit with them. They had to give up Drew Gooden, who DID play well for the Cavs.
Mo Williams was a good pickup. People say a lot of him sucking in the PO's. What they forget, is the Cavs just got him for Damon Jones and Joe Smith. Not really heartbreaking losses.
Shaq was traded for Wallace and Pavlovic. Wallace being a corpse of himself. This was supposed to bring the Cavs over the top. Further on the year, they get Jamison for nothing.
Year after year the Cavs keep adding players and salary in iorder to "get over the hump". They get criticized for this but they were in constant pressure to get James his championship. Teams as early as 3 years ago were already setting themselves up for this summer and they know James would bolt if he didn't win. You could just imagine how much stress Danny Ferry had to deal with every trading deadline. Well you only had to look at how many trades the Cavs did since James arrived trying to "get over the hump"
Lebron defenders always bring up the Lakers and the Celtics and on how their supprting casts were a lot better than theirs. Well both teams had to withstand some losing seasons in order to gain talent (Jefferson, Jeff Green pick, Bynum) or use that talent to get good players. The Cavs were never awful ever since they got Lebron, so you can't really expect them to be championship good that early because they were never gonna get anything good from the draft. Ironically, one of the players who played extremely well with Lebron were taken from the draft (Z, Varejao) The thing is, Paul Pierce, and to a lesser extent, Kobe had to endure some seasons of losing but they stuck with their teams until their teams delivered. After Shaq, what age did Kobe win again? How about Pierce? Lebron is what, 26?
People may bring up Kobe's "demand" to be traded until they got Pau Gasol. Pierce was on the same boat as well. But the thing is both players never did leave, and both players never did anything to compromise their team's chances of landing a good player for them (for example, signing an extension, or talking to a "would be" coach, or just not acting like you're ready to jump ship)
As for the James "inner circle" taking control of the locker room, well what can you do? This is the first time I've heard of this happening, and quite frankly was very suprised just because of how much money is involved with this. Granting the posse access to locker rooms is one thing, but hiring them as Cavs employees? I put the partial blame on this to Lebron, since he had the audacity to even suggest the Cavs to hire his friends. I also put the blame on the Cavs, for not being professional about it and politely declining. Maybe they couldn't coz they just wanted to do everything to keep James in Cleveland.
The thing is, you can't build championship teams that fast. The Cavs have been trying to build one really quick for about 4 years now. It's like building a house in one day, not waiting for the cement to dry or the work to be done carefully, only to see it fall by sundown. Then picking up the pieces and trying again the next day.
Are the Cavs at fault. Sure they are. But Lebron as well. All in all, the Cavs did they did just to appease James and his lofty demand for an overnight championship.