Apr. 29, 2020
LeBron James, How Much Is Enough?
First things first, I love LeBron James. He has been the best player in the world, in my opinion, since probably 2007-ish. He is probably the smartest player from a basketball leverage prospective ever. He colluded to create two super teams, signs one or two year deals to always have the threat of leaving, and is basically a coach/GM. I absolutely love the power move he exudes over Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert especially since Gilbert penned that salty open letter in the wake of LeBron departing for Miami, but at what point is his power enough?
As currently constructed, LeBron plays on a team with three maximum contract players (himself, Kyrie Irving, and Kevin Love). He got management to trade for Iman Shumpert and J.R. Smith who are athletic spot shooters and solid defenders as well as had David Griffin pull of moves to get Channing Frye and Kyle Korver. That being said, LeBron is publicly politicking for more help. More help? Given that this is a salary capped sport, what else could possibly be done? And who would you be okay getting rid of if management made a trade for another semi-impactful piece?
LeBron is currently on the second most talented roster now, and has probably been (outside of this year with Kevin Durant's arrival in the Bay) on the most talented team (at least on paper) for the last four years. Personally, I feel like LeBron's outburst is a nod to the respect he has for Golden State. I don't think that if he feels that if they played a seven game series today at age 32 that he would be able to take down Steph and company, and this direct (as opposed to the generally passive aggressive LeBron) is a message to management that something needs to be added. I just don't see outside of a highway robbery how they could pull of something meaningful without REALLY shaking things up. So what do you do?
The answer is who knows, but a couple things are clear. One that LeBron is the best General Manager in all of basketball so maybe they can steal a veteran malcontent or someone agreeing to his power play, maybe like Deron Williams. And LeBron is definitely that kid at the gym that despite being better than everyone else at the court that day would wait until all the other good players lost to pick them up and step on the court with a stacked team.