Trouble In Happy Waters?
LeBron James doesn’t seem particularly happy these days. It would be nice if he was just cranky still because his beloved Yanks fell to the Tribe in the playoffs this year, but unfortunately for us all, there’s some actual merit to his gripes. I said last week it would be interesting to see how LeBron handled the absences of Sasha Pavlovic and Anderson Varejao, who are holding out for ridiculous amounts of money they’re probably not going to get. Well, we’re starting to see some of that come to fruition. I wondered whose side LeBron would take on this matter, and as reported in Chronicle-Telegram today, LeBron hath spoken:
“We’re worse,” James said following the Cavaliers’ first workout since an eight-day stint in China. “We’re not as good when we don’t have those guys. We all know that. Those two guys are a big part of our team.”
LeBron would continue,
“We didn’t do any reshaping,” James said matter-of-factly. “We didn’t do any regrouping. You start to think a little bit, ‘How are we going to continue to get better?’”
“Me being the leader, I am geared for them not being here,” the 6-foot-8, 250-pounder said. “As an individual, I know I am ready. When I’m ready, I know our team is ready. Their names are still in the locker room (above their lockers),” he said. “They’re still a part of our team. At the same time, we have to go with who we have. … Some things are going to happen in the next week or so where we know for certain what is going to happen with those guys.”
I actually empathize with Danny Ferry and his situation. He simply cannot bid against himself and sign the two players for more money than the market seems to be dictating that they are worth just to appease his biggest star and most valuable asset, no matter how much it must hurt to hear LeBron’s pleas for help. And for what it’s worth, I also empathize with LeBron and the situation he finds himself in. Here we are about to enter year 5 of the LeBron James Era, and is the team really any better than they were in year 2? Consistently carrying this team all by himself year in and year out has to be exhausting. It has to be frustrating. So maybe it’s a bit simplistic and a bit of a reach to read too much into any kind of deeper meaning in LeBron’s comments other than to state the obvious….we got embarrassed in the NBA Finals last year. We had zero chance of winning a single game, let alone an entire series against the Spurs. And LeBron knows it. And to look at this year’s team as it stands at this exact moment and to see that it is clearly weaker than last year’s team, perhaps LeBron really is only asking for the help he deserves. It will just be up to Danny Ferry to decide what the best way to get some help in here will be. Choose wisely, young man. Choose wisely.