“I’m not promising a championship. I know how hard that is to deliver. We’re not ready right now. No way. Of course, I want to win next year, but I’m realistic. It will be a long process, much longer than it was in 2010.”
Barring a major injury to LeBron James, the Cleveland Cavaliers will be back in the playoffs next season. They will be a contender, although a title — with the current roster– seems like a stretch. There is a lot of youth. There is a serious lack of playoff experience outside of James and Varejao. The team needs shooting, and after missing out on a couple of veteran centers, they have to find another big.
One solution to the biggest X’s and O’s problem facing the Cavaliers would be to acquire Minnesota All-Star Kevin Love.
The new big three of Kyrie, LeBron and Love would be formidable. The Cavaliers have reportedly been trying to get a third team involved in order to acquire Love without having to part with top pick Andrew Wiggins. Obviously that would be the ideal situation. James, Irving, Love, Wiggins, Varejao and whatever is left on the roster is a team that as Charles Barkley said would have the Eastern Conference wrapped up.
But what if Wiggins has to be included?
“When I left Cleveland, I was on a mission. I was seeking championships, and we won two. But Miami already knew that feeling. Our city hasn’t had that feeling in a long, long, long time. My goal is still to win as many titles as possible, no question. But what’s most important for me is bringing one trophy back to Northeast Ohio.”
In WFNY’s infancy, about the time it was first suggested that LeBron might not sign his first extension for the maximum length, I wrote a piece with a simple premise. I asked if you would rather have one guaranteed championship, or guarantee that LeBron signed the max extension. Taking the title meant LeBron was free to sign elsewhere if he wanted. Taking the contract meant no promises in regard to parades.
I took the title. I was surprised how many took the guarantee of LeBron signing, stating that he would likely bring multiple championships.
I’m getting older. I’m the oldest writer here at WFNY. I was born eight years after the last championship team in Cleveland. That one trophy is getting to be pretty important to me.
Yes, I’d love to watch a team that wins say two of the next four NBA titles. But I refuse to think about multiple titles or a dynasty type of run until that first parade downtown.
“I’m going into a situation with a young team and a new coach. I will be the old head. But I get a thrill out of bringing a group together and helping them reach a place they didn’t know they could go. I see myself as a mentor now and I’m excited to lead some of these talented young guys.”
How many years will LeBron still be in his prime? Three? Four? I’m all about LeBron teaching these young players how to prepare and play like a champion.
But I see a window to win a title. I don’t want to waste any years in that window. You never know who’s going to get injured, or what might happen down the road. Don’t waste opportunities. When the Indians lost the series in ’95, I thought we would win two or three in the next five years. When the Cavs lost the Finals in ’07, I was certain they would be back the next year.
I understand that Wiggins could eventually become a star in the league. I’d let Minnesota sweat it out a while and see if you could get Love without Wiggins. But if it came down to it, I’m willing to trade potential for a proven player.
I want that championship.