A while back, I wrote an article about LeBron James and his decision to stay with the Cleveland Cavaliers. In that article, I noted that while I didn’t necessarily agree with his decision, I felt that he had by far earned my respect by the way he handled his free agency and the way he played during the NBA Finals. At the time, I noted that I felt there was some hypocrisy in the way people felt about his leaving the Cavs to join the Los Angeles Lakers. The NBA is a business, and it is not like the NFL, where players can choose to play for whichever team they want. The NBA is a league in which teams are run like franchises with stars that are held up as examples of what all athletes should be like.
A couple years ago, Lebron James was the biggest basketball name in the world. Nowadays, he’s pretty much a has-been. The same is true for the Cleveland Cavaliers. The team’s star player, LeBron James, is now a member of the Los Angeles Lakers, and the Cavs have to make do without him.
In the latest episode of The Bill Simmons Podcast, Bill and I discuss the ins and outs of the NBA trade deadline. As part of the discussion, we touch on the long-rumored blockbuster deal between the Lakers and Cavs, involving LeBron James.. Read more about lebron james net worth and let us know what you think.
When LeBron James initially left the Cleveland Cavaliers, his primary motivation was clear: he wanted to win a championship, and the Cavs weren’t assisting him in that endeavor. Prior to his initial departure from Cleveland, James allegedly attempted to recruit a former All-Star, reaching out to Metta World Peace.
While James and the Cavaliers would have been a great match for World Peace, the 2003-04 All-Star and Defensive Player of the Year opted out. He was adamant about not playing with The King.
LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers were on the verge of becoming a championship team.
On May 9, 2009, LeBron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers faced the Atlanta Hawks in Game 3 of the 2009 Eastern Conference Semifinals. | Getty Images/Andy Lyons
LeBron James led the Cleveland Cavaliers to unprecedented heights after being selected first overall in the 2003 NBA Draft. In 2007, he assisted them in reaching their first NBA Finals (which the San Antonio Spurs won 4-0), and they went on to become one of the league’s powerhouses a few seasons later.
In 2008-09, the Cavaliers ended with the best record in the NBA and the most victories in club history, going 66-16. However, they fell short of reaching the finals once they reached the playoffs, falling 4-2 in the conference finals against Dwight Howard and the Orlando Magic.
The Cavaliers then upgraded their team for the 2009-10 season in the hopes of finally capturing the title that James and the city had yearned for. The Cavs accomplished this by adding Shaquille O’Neal and subsequently Antawn Jamison to a team that included James, Mo Williams, Zydrunas Ilgauskas, and Delonte West.
Their changes paid off during the regular season, as they once again ended with the best record in the NBA (61-21). In the Eastern Conference semifinals, though, Cleveland fell to the Boston Celtics. Following the defeat, James joined the Miami Heat in the summer.
What if the Cavs had acquired another previous All-Star player in 2009-10?
Metta World Peace said that LeBron James approached him about joining the Cavaliers.
Metta World Peace, also known as Metta Sandiford-Artest and Ron Artest, was a member of the Houston Rockets from 2008 to 2009, averaging 17.1 points, 5.2 rebounds, and 1.5 steals per game. He was a key part of Houston’s run to the Western Conference Semifinals, when they were defeated by the Lakers in seven games.
After the 2008-09 season, World Peace became a free agent. And although we can’t say for sure if that’s when LeBron James allegedly reached out to him, context indications suggest it was.
On the Aug. 9 edition of Shannon Sharpe’s Club Shay Shay, World Peace stated, “So, LeBron James touched me up one time when he was with the Cavs.” “I remember being ecstatic because LeBron called me; I’m a huge fan. I was a huge admirer of his even though he was younger. But before that, I didn’t want to play with Kobe — RIP Kobe — or LeBron, or [Tracy McGrady]; I wanted to play against these guys. So when LeBron asked me to join him on the court, I told him, ‘I can’t.’
World Peace, who previously played for the Bulls, Pacers, and Kings, preferred to play against other All-Stars rather than collaborating with them. However, he later said that he was having difficulty finding a team, so he ended up playing with another celebrity.
He told Sharpe, “No teams wanted me.” “After that, I didn’t call LeBron back, so the Lakers phoned, and I told them I had to go because I didn’t know if I’d receive a deal.’ But it’s not in my nature to play with other people.”
Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers eventually joined up with World Peace. It’s difficult to envision the Cavaliers losing in the 2009-10 playoffs if he had joined them, particularly considering they had the best record in the league without him. Winning the championship would have made going to Miami in the offseason more difficult for James.
However, all worked out in the end for World Peace.
With Kobe Bryant and the Lakers, Metta World Peace won an NBA title.
World Peace then spent the following four seasons with LA, where he accomplished his ultimate objective of helping the club win a championship in his debut season.
In the 2010 NBA Finals, the Lakers, who had previously won the championship in 2009, met the Boston Celtics in a seven-game series. However, with 1:01 remaining in Game 7, World Peace made a 3-pointer to extend LA’s advantage to six points, thus clinching the championship.
James, on the other hand, continued to earn rings after joining the Heat and winning back-to-back championships in 2011-12 and 2012-13. In 2015-16, he and the Cavs also won a championship.
For both World Peace and James, everything worked out in the end. However, Cavs fans must now ponder how far that 2009-10 club might have progressed if World Peace had stayed in Cleveland instead of Los Angeles.
Basketball Reference provided the statistics.
RELATED: LeBron James Would Give Cavs Teammates ‘The Look’ If They Didn’t Make the Right Moves on the Court: ‘He’ll look at you as if you’re insane.’
If you’re a Cavaliers fan who watched Game 6 of the NBA Finals in June, you know where we’re going with this. LeBron James was the focal point of the Cavs’ offense in the series, scoring a team-high 35 points on just 14 shots. He also had five rebounds and four assists, and while he wasn’t as impactful as he was in the Cavs’ Game 1 win, there was nothing wrong with his stat line.. Read more about lebron tweet and let us know what you think.
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