In the last 10 years there's been one constant in the NBA & that is LeBron James being the best basketball player in the world. His 8 straight trips to the NBA Finals is an accomplishment that only Russell's Celtics have done. His dismantling of the Toronto Raptors brings memories of Jordan crushing the Knicks or more aptly the Cavs. His dissection of the Raptors was so complete that he was nicknamed LeThanos after the Avengers villain and the city was dubbed by a commentator, "LeBronto". His secret weapon? His longevity.
The NCAA would have to take a serious look at the lie that is ‘student-athlete’ and find ways to properly compensate these players who risk injury while biding their time. Let’s hope change truly comes because right now these players are getting screwed. And they truly need to be properly compensated for there talents and by that I mean receiving percentages of those billion dollar March Madness and hundred million dollar apparel deals.
You never know how players will respond to adversity I hope the Cavaliers can bounce back. Young players like Jordan Clarkson and Larry Nance Jr. are experiencing their first Finals. Sometimes the lights can be too bright. On the other end the Warriors have 4 future Hall of Famers who each won a championship last year.
The playoffs is all about match-ups. While the Toronto Raptors were #1 in the East because they have no answer to LeBron that got swept in the second round. Injuries have been a main factor in these playoffs and with Cavaliers losing Kevin Love there’s a possibility that LeBron could’ve actually already played his last game in Cleveland. With Chris Paul, who has been phenomenal in this series, out with a hamstring injury there’s a greater chance that the Warriors will bounce back winning both Game 6 in Oakland and a possible Game 7 in Houston.
Historically wrestling has had a checkered past with people of color specifically Black wrestlers in the business. While The Rock was arguably the biggest star of all time he was almost an anamoly. There has been a White wrestler being Akeem the Dream and Vince McMahon himself has been problematic.
He’s currently in his 15th season and destroying expectations of what being in your “prime” truly means as he’s had more milage put on his body than anyone currently in the league except Dirk Nowitzki. But it’s not all sunshine and daises if you’re associated with the King. The requirement for LeBron has been to win a championship ever year or that season is a totally failure, “chasing the ghost” he’s haunted with the fact that Jordan never lost on basketball’s biggest stage. And since James is seen by many as the “best basketball player in the world” means that it’s on his teammates to step it up and help him achieve his goal of competing for a championship.
The NBA is a business, it is ruthless and hypocritical.
Players are expected to be “loyal” and stay with the team that’s drafted them but this generation is smarter with the two best players, LeBron controlling his destiny and Kevin Durant validating his move to Golden State with a Finals MVP and a championship.
This particular shake up by the Cleveland Cavaliers shows the front office isn’t going to be held hostage and paralyzed by LeBron James’ moves.
It gives flexibility to look to the future, possibly without James, and also the chance to compete for a championship this season.