Does LeBron’s return = a championship? History emphatically says “No!”
Now that LeBron James has decided to come “home” to play some hoops, I know many Cleveland sports fans have become downright giddy at the prospect of not one, but multiple NBA championships. And if the rumored acquisition of the highly talented Kevin Love also comes to pass, the prospects of a championship parade down East 9th Street certainly increase. However this being, you know, Cleveland and all, it’s only good sense to consider possibilities of other scenarios which also might happen.
I mean, lest ye forget, we’ve been down this road before. Remember the Cavs of the '90s? Brad Daugherty, Mark Price, Larry Nance, Hot Rod Williams, Ron Harper. Ah … Ron Harper, remember him? Wayne Embry, the Cavs’ GM at the time, thought they were only “a player away” from an NBA championship. So, he deftly traded Ron Harper away for the rights to Danny Ferry, who was playing in Italy at the time.
Well, after the trade, the good news is that the Cavs were no longer a player away from an NBA championship. The bad news? They were now two or three players away. Ferry was never close to being the player Embry and many others thought he’d be. Bad, bad deal, Mr. Embry.
Or look at the ’95 Indians. A young powerhouse of a team which won 100 games in a strike-shortened season, most people (myself included) saw multiple championships ahead for those guys. What happened? Some guys enjoyed career years in 1995, never to be duplicated again. There were injuries, which are always hard to anticipate. And GM John Hart, while everything he’d touched had turned to gold in his early tenure as GM for the Tribe, suddenly made some deals which turned to, well, NOT gold. Suddenly, the “super team” became a collection of mortals. Good, but never quite good enough.
Or look at the Browns and LeCharles Bentley in 2006, who was regarded as the best free agent of the bunch in 2006. Bentley, one of the best young offensive linemen in the NFL, was going to spearhead the revival of the Browns. However, this being Cleveland and all (oh, did I mention that already?) LeCharles – on the very first play on the very first day of full scrimmages during training camp in July of 2006 – suffered a serious leg injury which he never fully recovered from. And the Browns continued to do that which they know best: play horrible football.
Maybe it’s time for our luck here to change. Everyone knows we’re due for a little good luck, and maybe the James/Love tandem will in fact bring us that championship parade after all.
To me, however, here’s what I see happening: I see James and Love colliding during their first practice together, with either one, or both (most likely, both) suffering season-ending (if not career-ending) injuries. Both will be doing color commentary on ESPN by January.
And while we’re at it Andrew Wiggins and Anthony Bennett, our two No. 1 picks from the last two seasons who are reportedly included in the Love deal, will both enjoy long and productive careers in the NBA, each with more rings than one of my dress shirts.
Lifelong Westlake resident who dabbles in writing whenever the real world permits. My forte is humor and horror...What a combo!