It shouldnt have happened this way. This was supposed to be the year Lebron James would finally get crowning achievement as a contender and respect as a NBA champion. The seven year comparison to Jordan winning the title was similar on Lebron’s case and it seemed like magic was gonna finally strike for Cleveland.
The Cavaliers made aggressive and bold moves to help Lebron this past year. After the elimination from the playoffs last year, Cleveland made alot of changes in hoping that they can finally be a championship contender. They added Shaquille ONeal, They added Jamal Moon, Anthony Parker, resigned Mo Williams, Delonte West and even added Antwan Jamieson to the mix late in the season along with keeping long time veteran Big Z. The pieces to the winning puzzle were evident and it showed in the season numbers with the Cavs steam rolling over any team in sight with the best record in the NBA. The Cavs even beat the current NBA Champs The Los Angeles Lakers twice in the season further building anticipation of fans finally getting a Kobe Vs Lebron finals face off.
The Cavaliers ran over the Bulls and entered the 2nd Round facing one of their rivals the Boston Celtics. The setup couldn’t have been more achievable. The Celtics were looked as a barely reaching 500 team thats full of old and washed up players that are pass their prime and the Cavs were heavy favorites to take them out within 5 games. This was when the unthinkable happened The all of sudden bulletproof looking Cavaliers were looking weakened.
The chinks in the armor was starting to show in Game 1 where the Celtics showcased a shocking form of fighting spirit and went as far as to started beating the Cavs by 15 before Mo Williams stepped up and took the game in his own hands. Lebron was also battling an elbow injury that seemed to have effected his play(Ex his awkward free throw attempt). Whenever Lebron’s elbow was really injured became a major topic in the sports world and it seemed to have takened toll on his play until Game 4 where he showed why he was the best player in the NBA as the Lebron and the Cavs crushed Boston so shockingly on their homecourt. After this victory, It seemed that the Cavs were in cruise control and was gonna take this series.
The bottom line is despite being humiliated on their own court. It seemed as if the Celtics were done. Lebron probably had the best game in the playoffs and the Cavs were floating on cloud nine. Then in the most bizarre form of events. Game 5 was where Lebron proceeds to have one of the worst games in not only his career but in also any top player. He only shot 3-15 from the field, He wasn’t aggressive on defense, He didn’t dive for the ball and just acted strangely distant from the game. The Celtics knowing the Cavs main star was having an off night smelled blood and they destroyed the Cavs on their homecourt. This was very strange considering Lebron dropped 38 on Boston nights prior.
The Cavs were looking shocked,, confused, wounded, dismay, and self destructing within every minute of Game six . Despite Lebron putting up a triple double, It wasnt enough and the Celtics took the series in six games.
Its even more shocking on how they actually did it considering they were down 2-1 in the series. This was not the way Cleveland fans and Lebron himself have envisioned his season to end. The tools was there, the Marquette players were there, The Coach of the year was there and you had possibly the best player in the NBA leading the charge so what exactly went wrong and how did it go wrong so fast? Allow me to elaborate whats wrong with the franchise and what Cleveland needs to do if they want Lebron to stay in Cleveland:
Getting rid of Mike Brown was a start, Mike Brown while a good coach within the regular season didn’t show that same kind of fire and made alot of dumb decisions(Ex having Anthony Parker play Raja Rondo even though Rondo was lighting him up for 40 mins, Keeping JJ Hickson on the bench for Game 6). Lebron needs a coach thats not gonna act like a fan but act like a COACH and thats where I feel a guy like Pat Riley is needed. Pat Riley is the perfect coach that could help Lebron build that winning mindset similar to how he helped Magic Johnson develop with his game and could give the Cavaliers that rugged toughness defensively that he gave the New York Knicks during his stint with them in the 90s. Cleveland while having good players didn’t have a tough mentality with their dancing, smiling, posing and parading during games. They were looked of as more as a sideshow then a tough contender. Theres a time and place to do that and you do that when you win championships.
Get RID of Delonte West
If Delonte West really did sleep with Lebron James mother, then this would be the exact reason on Lebron’s lack of participation in Games 5 and 6 against Boston and Wests’s lack of playing time in them games. It’s also the perfect reason to get rid of him. Even before this alleged affair, Delonte West’s behavior off the court has always served as a distraction and thats not what the Cavs need at this moment.They need to also give Delonte the release waver based off the fact that he wasn’t a really good player to begin with.
Lebron within 20 days may be the biggest NBA free agent since Shaquille Oneal back in 1996. The Cavs need to convince Lebron that Cleveland is LEBRON JAMES, They need to tell him that him going to the New Jersey(or Brooklyn) Nets or the New York Knicks doesn’t make perfect basketball sense since both of these teams haven’t even been in the playoff picture since the early 2000s. Even though the Bulls maybe the best logical choice for him if he wants to win a championship, They need to really convince him that the Bulls organization are gonna put heavy pressure on him to fulfill Michael Jordan’s shoes and thats a huge burden the carry if he fails again, Especially with them putting so much money into him.
It’s also the fact that Lebron’s family is instilled there, He’s very protective of how the public portrays him(Ex the whole Jordan Crawford incident) and with him going into a bigger team with a bigger city, He’s gonna be open to alot of the scandals, controversies, TMZ rumors, and all of that type of tabloid junk that followed every NBA player that played in the big city and big lights.
The Cavaliers didn’t show that fiery passion that many teams show when its crunch time. They are probably one of the most passive teams in the NBA and this is coming from a fan of Lebron and somebody that have rooted for the Cavs this year to win it all. Lebron whenever he was injured or distracted by his teammates affair with his mother didn’t really turn up the voltage like people wanted him in those last two games of the season. Even though he wasn’t himself, Other players should have stepped up and took the burden off of him. This is where a coach like Pat Riley is needed because they can build a team around Lebron that is just ruthless and intimidating on the court. One or two players can turn the tide and give the Cavs that presence. The Lakers were accused of being soft for years but soon as they acquired Ron Artest this past year, All of that changed and he made them tougher. A player like Amarie Stoundmire, or Chris Bosh could help on that end.
Whatever Lebron James decides to do, the world would be paying attention. Danny Ferry better start thinking of some solutions in trying to keep Lebron because if he goes, So does the city of Cleveland. These solutions are just common sense and they can still build a winning team around Lebron. It’s now all about execution that talent so they can get far and win the big one.