LeBron James surrounded by best teamBy Marquis Munson | 06/04/2015 8:11pm
Cleveland Cavaliers' LeBron James and Atlanta Hawks' DeMarre Carroll battle for a loose ball during Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Finals on Tuesday, May 26, 2015, at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio. (Curtis Compton/Atlanta Journal-Constitution/TNS)
LeBron James’ return to Cleveland was one of the biggest moves in NBA history. The break-up between the organization and James in 2010 left the city of Cleveland broken and bitter as it watched its basketball savior and hometown hero win two NBA championships with the Miami Heat while the Cavaliers continued to languish without a single title in its 45-year history.
James’ storybook career couldn’t be complete without a return to the team only 43 minutes away from where he calls home in Akron, Ohio. James' and the Cavs' success came quicker than many people expected, with the team in the NBA Finals against reigning MVP Stephen Curry and the Golden State Warriors in James' first season back.
The reason why James left Cleveland was because — let’s face it — he couldn’t win with the team that organization had assembled. From Daniel Gibson, Damon Jones, Antawn Jamison, Delonte West, and a broken down Shaquille O’ Neal just to name a few, there was no way James was going to win a title with that. He had no choice but to leave the team and the city of broken fans.
The Cavs only response to James’ departure was jersey burnings, letters of anger from the owner, and a few awful seasons that led to lottery picks, including back-to-back first overall picks in the NBA draft. Some of the picks turned into gold because they drafted a new savior Kyrie Irving, who has emerged as one of the best up-and-coming point guards in the NBA.
When James decided to go back home, the Cavs became an instant favorite to win the NBA championship. But even with an All-Star like Irving, the Cavs still didn’t have that winning roster, so they traded those number one picks - Anthony Bennet and Andrew Wiggins - to the Minnesota Timberwolves to acquire All-Star power forward Kevin Love. The Cavs had their team.
Acquiring J.R. Smith and Iman Shumpert from the Knicks and Timofey Mozgov from the Nuggets during the season, the Cavs gave James the best team of his 11-year career. Even with struggling rookie head coach David Blatt, James and the Cavs have a chance to make history and win Cleveland its first championship since the Cleveland Browns won the Super Bowl in 1964.
Blatt was a great international coach, but, let’s face it: he was blessed with the opportunity to direct a box office movie with a great cast. Blatt is no Clint Eastwood, but he is directing a blockbuster motion picture that includes stars like James and Irving and the best supporting cast that James has ever been around in his entire career. The Cavaliers finally have a chance to break the city of Cleveland's 51-year trophy drought.