We remember the words LeBron James put to print on July 11th when he decided to shock the world again by returning his talents to the place where he started it all, the Land. (It’s what the cool kids allegedly are calling the Cavs now).
Cleveland Cavalier fans and supporters are still basking in balloons, candy and flowers of the return of it’s prodigal son who returns a 2-time champion. Along the way the Cavaliers completed the worst kept secret of the summer by acquiring Kevin Love who arguably is considered a top 5 player in the league to play alongside budding star point guard Kyrie Irving by trading way the last two #1 overall picks Andrew Wiggins and Anthony Bennett to the Timberwolves.
Basically, if you are a buyer into LeBron’s downplaying the team’s expectations in his return to Cleveland, that theory should be tossed out the window and immediately.
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. My patience will get tested. I know that. I’m going into a situation with a young team and a new coach.
Yeah, I would’ve bought and ate up that theory had both Wiggins and Bennett remained on the Cavalier roster after the smoke cleared on the Love deal but that is no longer the case.
You can make a complete argument right now, currently constructed that this Cleveland Cavaliers roster from top to bottom is much more talented than the 2010-11 Heat squad that won the Eastern Conference title before bowing out in the NBA Finals in seemingly embarrassing fashion to the Dallas Mavericks.
Cleveland has added depth and championship pedigree in Shawn Marion, Mike Miller and the possibility of Ray Allen entering the fold still hangs in the balance if he decides not to retire this offseason.
If LeBron James truly wanted a youth movement then there was no way a talent of Wiggins caliber gets dealt away even for Love. While LeBron may have exercised his public relations genius which was parlayed into a Sports Illustrated love note toward the state of Ohio in saying that the Cavs weren’t ready to win right away, the construction of their roster reveals otherwise.
Look at the Eastern Conference and tell me OUTSIDE of the Chicago Bulls, any teams that can truly compete with Cleveland on paper. A 37 year old Shawn Marion didn’t come to Cleveland for a “process”. Mike Miller didn’t leave money on the table to come and help tudor young guys. James Jones didn’t leave the comfy confines of South Florida to just chill with LeBron.
These guys came to win championships and win right away.
Do not get me wrong, I am no implying that it is championship or bust for Cleveland. However, anything short of winning the Eastern Conference title this coming season should be deemed a failure.
REGARDLESS of what LeBron James would have you believe.