Should LeBron be blaming anybody but himself for the Cavs lack of a playmaker?
I am almost invariably a LeBron fanboy, and I will defend him in any situation and for just about anything. I fell in love with his play style as a kid and I have never looked back. And, I might add, most of the time my defenses of him are well thought out and based in fact. But his last statement to the media has left me a bit stumped. For the first time in my life I can’t defend LeBron, and here is why.
First, a little back story. After the Cavaliers lost to the Pelicans this past Monday (who were without their hands down best player, Anthony Davis), making it a streak of 5 losses in 7 games for them, LeBron lost his temper a bit in the post game interview. This lead to him having some choice words to say about the state of the team. Do I disagree that they could use one more playmaker? Most certainly not. The NBA is now more then ever a league where a team has to have great depth to have chance of winning a championship, with more emphasis on guys that can do it all at multiple positions. That being said, if anybody is to blame for the Cavaliers front office not grabbing them a playmaker, you would have a good argument in saying it is LeBron; here is why.
LeBron has not (and will never again) hurt for money since he was 18 years old. Before he had ever played an NBA game he signed a contract with Nike worth 90 million dollars. 90. Million. It is estimated that in his now 14th season in the L, he has made 595 million dollars in salary and endorsements. He has a legit chance at becoming the second athlete (behind the great Michael Jordan) to be worth a billion dollars when its all said and done, and that will probably come a lot sooner for him then it did for MJ (who was 50 when he reached the billion mark). This being said, if he wants better teammates, take a smaller salary. This year the Cavaliers are paying James a total of 31 million. How much would it hurt LeBron to take a smaller deal, maybe only make a paltry sum of 20 million, and free up a bunch of cap space for a better back up point guard? I don’t think that he will have to take a mortgage out on his house if he lost a few mill of of his salary. So, there it is; I criticized LeBron. It hurts a little bit, but it had to be done.
Word Count: 449
A visual representation of how this “rivalry” has went so far for Westbrook
The Thunder and the Warriors added the latest chapter in their newfound rivalry this past Wednesday, finishing in a 121-100 win for the Warriors on their home floor. But to call it a rivalry for the teams as whole organizations isn’t really a fair analysis of what is forming on the hardwood this 2016-17 NBA season. No, this is really more about Westbrook himself and how he feels about being both metaphorically and literally dumped by Kevin Durant this past off-season when Durant accepted the offer to join the Warriors. The Warriors are focused on winning and while Westbrook is doing a decent amount of that himself, it doesn’t appear even his superhuman ability (Westbrook is averaging a triple double this season) can stop the pure talent on the Warriors roster. And for Russ, that is the hardest pill to swallow, and it shows in his outbursts on the court and off it.
The following link shows how he feels about his teammates even speaking to a Warrior after the game; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-csNEy-Fwx4. And when told about the incident pictured above (Westbrook apparently was unaware that Zaza Pachulia had stood over him after his hard foul), Russ responded with a simple message; “…I don’t play that game. Imma get his ass back… I don’t know when that’s going to be but I don’t play that game.” Suffice it to say, Russell has no love left for Durant and by extension he doe not have any for the Warriors either.
The sad part is that this “vendetta” or “rivalry” will largely remain in the mind of Russell personally until either he or Durant switch teams, and neither occurrence is likely to happen anytime soon, with Durant being under contract for two seasons and Westbrook for three. Unless the Thunder’s head brass can facilitate a miracle this offseason (Demarcus Cousins to the Thunder, anyone?) Westbrook and his Thunder are most likely to meet the same fate in future match ups with the Warriors and their super team to end all super teams.
Word count: 352
In this blog it is my plan to write on various topics, all based around this years NBA season. I am new to the whole blogging ideas as a whole, so I hope what I produce is not too horrible or difficult to follow. More specific themes I plan on following include: best plays of the week/month, trades and trade rumors, my opinions on any controversy/news updates around the world of basketball, my opinions on age old debates such as LeBron vs Jordan, Magic vs Bird, is the draft rigged, etc. My interest in topics such as those listed above have been growing in intensity as I age. I did not start watching basketball until 2008, although I’ve played it (organized and otherwise) since I was five years old. At first it was a casual interest in just the games that may have been on TV at the time, but has sensed blossom into what some might call an obsession. I just love the sport and I can’t get enough of it.
My goals for this blog are pretty small, as it is my first attempt at doing something like this. I just hope that I enjoy doing it and that those who may read it also enjoy doing so. I realize that while basketball is a popular sport and its fan base is growing astronomically every year, there are still a good majority of people who are not interested by it in the least. That being said, the audience I hope to reach would be people as intrigued and entertained by basketball as I am. As I have said already in this blurb, I have never been a blog person and therefore my knowledge on other blogs concerning this topic or with a similar theme are pretty narrow. However, upon a fairly short search I was able to find the following blogs that are along the lines of what I would like to try and achieve: http://www.insidehoops.com/blog/ and http://puresweatbasketball.com/blog/.
Word count: 331
Welcome to blogs.oregonstate.edu. This is your first post. Edit or delete it, then start blogging!