Tonight, LeBron James makes his debut with the Los Angeles Lakers in a game that will be nationally broadcast. No doubt you are already aware of that, because several networks have hyped it.
We don’t care.
You see, we are old school. We’ve been a fan of the Cleveland Cavaliers since the day they were born back in 1970, and we are fans of the team, not any individual player.
Younger fans seems to follow players, they support LeBron James or Kobe Bryant or Stephen Curry, and that’s fine, that’s their right.
But James isn’t wearing wine and gold anymore, so our interest in all things LeBron has waned.
To be quite honest, we probably would have watched James’ new show on HBO, The Shop, if he was still a Cav, but since he’s joined the Lakers, the Yankees of the NBA, it’s not must see TV.
Sure, it will be cool when James starts nearing Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s all time scoring record, because a majority of those points were scored wearing a Cleveland uniform, but for the most part, our interest will be limited to keeping aware of what is happening in the league, just like we do any other team.
We will forever be thankful for the 2016 NBA title, something quite frankly, we never thought we would see. James was primarily responsible for that, as well as the four consecutive Finals appearances.
It’s almost as though he retired. His next glory moment here will probably be when his #23 jersey is retired by the Cavaliers, as the greatest player in franchise history.
And that event will be greeted warmly by fans in northeast Ohio, as it should be. After all, we appreciate greatness.
As for the Cavs, last night was their first game without James, and we should allow the players and coaching staff a little transition period.
First, the wine and gold may have played the best team in the Eastern Conference in the Toronto Raptors, who have one of the top ten players (some might say top five) in Kawhi Leonard.
Losing to them at home is certainly no disgrace.
However, Tyronn Lue and the coaching staff need time before we make any conclusions as to this edition of the wine and gold is a playoff team, a post-season contender, or a squad that should be looking toward the 2019 NBA Draft Lottery in May.
Already, we heard criticism of Kevin Love, because he shot 5 for 18 last night. This is the overreaction of one game. Love will shoot the ball better, he’s too good of a shooter.
Remember, this is a new system for the coaches and the players. And pretty much every guy on the roster has a new role, except for maybe Kyle Korver and Tristan Thompson. You have to provide time to get used to the newness.
Even teams with championship aspirations have periods of adjustment when new players are added in, so a team that lost the best player in the game should and will be no exception.
Let’s see what the Cavaliers look like in two or three weeks before jumping to any conclusions. After all, expectations are lower this season than the last four years.