(LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony on Saturday night – @NYKnicks)
Cavaliers star LeBron James floated the idea last week that he hopes that he can play on the same team with Carmelo Anthony, Chris Paul, and Dwayne Wade before their careers are over.
James said of “The Brotherhood” to Bleacher Report of, “I really hope, that, before our career is over we can all play together. At least one, maybe one or two season – me, Melo, D-Wade, CP – we can get a year in. I would actually take a pay cut to do that.”
This is the latest in a long line of strange comments from James implying how unhappy he is with the current situation in Cleveland.
James conveniently wants everyone to forget he left Wade and the Miami Heat for Cleveland in the summer of 2014 to play with Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love.
This season with the Cavaliers has been a trying one for James, as he took flak for getting David Blatt fired (even though the team tried to play people for fools and say LeBron had no say in it), and comments implying his happiness with the roster.
The Cavaliers have the best record in the Eastern Conference, but there are signs they can be beaten. They rely way too much on the three-point shot, and JR Smith and Matthew Dellavedova cannot hit them at the rate Steph Curry and Klay Thompson can.
Instead of going on their strength, which is James driving the lane, going for dunks or getting it to Timofey Mozgov or Kevin Love, he is dishing it out to three-point line, regardless of whether a player is open or not.
Against the Nets on Thursday night, they shot 10-for-38 from behind the arc, and were held scoreless for a very long stretch at the end, allowing the Nets to get the improbable win.
Against the Knicks, they were clicking on all cylinders, and jumped out to a 32-15 lead at the end of the first quarter on the way to a 107-93 win.
When the playoffs roll around, their offense can easily be shut down by Toronto or Atlanta, and possibly the stifling defense of the Boston Celtics.
There is also the larger point of whether James likes Cleveland and believes he can ever win a title there. His first time with the Cavaliers, he felt like he had to do it himself, and this situation is not far from that.
It is incredible that, two years after leaving Wade, the signs are there James regrets the decision. He went down to Miami to visit him on an off day in February and now floats the idea of playing with him again.
Wade is a lifetime member of the Heat, the face of that franchise, their greatest player ever, and it is unlikely he would ever leave for many reasons.
One obvious reason is Pat Riley, who united Wade with James and Chris Bosh in 2010, and they made it to four straight NBA Finals, and won two championships.
Riley has also built a nice team which includes Hassan Whiteside, Goran Drajic, ex-Knick Amar’e Stoudemire, Luol Deng, rookie Justise Winslow, and Joe Johnson, who was acquired from the Nets at this year’s trade deadline.
As of Sunday, the Heat are 42-30, and could make some noise in the playoffs, and it is not unthinkable that they could beat Cleveland.
Chris Paul also has a very nice situation with the Los Angeles Clippers, and they are one of the top four teams in the Western Conference.
Paul, along with Blake Griffin, DeAndre Jordan on the court, Head Coach Doc Rivers and with Steve Ballmer as owner, have turned the Clippers from a laughingstock into a legitimate championship contender.
Ballmer wants a championship, and he knows that bringing in James would make them the biggest draw in Los Angeles, overtaking the Lakers, who still garner a lot of attention despite their downturn.
Adding James to the starting lineup with Paul, Griffin, and Jordan would form a Big Four and could surpass the Warriors or Spurs on top of the West.
James also has shown an interest in acting, as he was one of the leads in “Trainwreck” and is one of the NBA’s top endorsers. Paul also takes advantage of being in L.A., with his State Farm commercials, and Griffin also endorsed Kia, at the same time as James ironically.
Just the thought of James in L.A. would evoke comparisons with the Lakers “Showtime” era in the 1980s.
And, finally, Carmelo Anthony and where he fits in the puzzle.
Anthony had the chance to link up with James in the summer of 2014, as they were both free agents, and showed no desire to leave New York. This would have been similar to how James, Wade, and Chris Bosh all signed on in Miami in 2010 and took less money to do so.
It appears that Anthony’s main goal is to make a lot of money, as he took the max contract from the Knicks in 2014 instead of joining other teams that courted him, like the Bulls and Lakers.
Anthony likes playing for the Knicks, has an owner that loves him in James Dolan (a contrast to James’ up-and-down relationship with Dan Gilbert), and gets to call New York City home.
James loves playing in Madison Sqaure Garden, and plays there with an electric style, as if he is a star on Broadway.
Whether James wants to be on the home team, with that pressure, and not a guy coming in putting on a show a handful of times a year is a big question.
When Anthony came to the Knicks in 2011, it seemed like they were set for a run of dominance like they had in the 1990s. Instead, there has been a lot of turmoil, with coaching changes, constant roster turnover, and a team President, Phil Jackson, who has not proven that he can do the job.
If James wants to play with one of his “Brotherhood” members, the obvious choices are to re-join the Heat or go to the Clippers.