By: Will Stevenson
Today, I will attempt to “stick to sports”. Among the things that have circulated throughout the news cycle, the daily soap opera that persist with the Cleveland Cavaliers is something to behold. Lebron hasn’t been much of an outspoken player when it comes to other players, staff and teammates through the media. He’s more of a coy mastermind, the type of person that gives ambiguous comments to push his team, and/or other players in the league. Lebron has wielded his power since leaving Miami, as he showcased in his “coming home” letter in which he purposely left out Dion Waiters and Andrew Wiggins. From the Kevin Love trade, the acquiring of JR Smith (the main priority) and Iman Shumpert, to the filling out of the bench with his personal favorites, Lebron has been able to contrast his own team of his liking. With two consecutive Finals appearances and one championship last June, there isn’t much for the Cleveland fanbase to complain about. There shouldn’t be much for Lebron to complain about, right?
There is one thing that Lebron gave up last summer: Leverage. After the Finals comeback over the Warriors, Lebron was “back on the market” as an unrestricted free agent. In years past, he has signed a two year deal with a player option for the second year. This was done to maximize his contract and to always keep the Griffins on their heals when it cam eto his demands, and hey responded as needed. With the potential lockout looming at the time, and the tv deals up for reconstruction, Lebron decided to sign a three year deal with a player option after the second year. This is very different from past years, and the Cavs brass have taken advantage of it.
- JR Smith had to wait for his contract
- Tristan Thompson had to wait for his contract
- Kay Felder was drafted
- The Cavs 15th roster spot has been vacant since the Kyle Korver trade
- No Melo
- Matthew Dellavadova was not replaced
- Lebron leads the league in minutes
Now most would say Lebron is doing his usual January pouting, as the Cavaliers finish up January with their worst record in terms of losses. I would contend that Lebron looks at the Spurs and Warriors and knows that the way the Cavaliers are playing will not get them another championship. He looks at the game logs and realizes he’s playing the most minutes in the league, and at his age, he should not be doing so. A player like Lebron should be around 31-33 minutes a night, not wasting minutes in order to keep the Cavs afloat.
Is this an issue with the Cavs management? Is this an issue with the Cavs players? Is Lebron secretly pissed off in his personal life? Who pissed in Lebron’s cheerios? It was all good during the Halloween party, what happened. Oh yes, JR Smith got hurt, Mo Williams never returned and Kyrie still is a facilitator, even though he’s having a career year in assists.
We can bash Lebron all we want, but if Lebron doesn’t win the Finals, we’ll crush him once again like we always do. He’s doing what he needs to do to have a balanced, healthy team come playoff time. He knows the limitations of their offense, and the lack of defense, but it’s only the regular season. We know what the Cavs can bring when it comes playoff time, and we’ve seen the evidence of their lockdown defense and explosiveness on offense.
PS. Please sign Lance Stephenson. Please.