What if LeBron James Never Left Cleveland For Los Angeles?
There are parallel universes out there, somewhere. And everything that happens in this world happens differently elsewhere. It has long been a theory and was featured in a very creative episode of the animated futuristic comedy Futurama.
There is probably a world where LeBron James never goes to the Lakers and decides he wants to settle down and finish his career with the Cavs, despite getting thrashed by the Warriors in back-to-back years.
Let’s look at a few things that may have happened.
Sexton’s On-Air Plea Actually Worked
Though it was never meant to be taken too seriously, Cavs draft pick Collin Sexton was asked an interesting question after donning the CLE hat. “What is your pitch for LeBron to stay?” It was a bit awkward because he had been on the team for about 30 seconds and already had to answer this.
“Stay here LeBron, let’s win. You and me.” Of course, Sexton has developed into a great scorer and playmaker. And if he and James were teammates, it would be a lot of fun. He hasn’t played with many promising young talents other than Kyrie Irving over the course of his career. It has always been veterans.
The two would have formed an incredible tandem. Sexton would have been the third-best guard James had played with, behind D-Wade and Irving himself. They could have had quite the rapport on the basketball court and been a sort of rookie/vet tandem. You don’t see it too often, but it does happen.
They may not have been able to win a title, given that the Warriors were still around. But, Kawhi and the Raptors would have had their hands full in the conference finals, where they beat the Bucks in reality.
The Roster Looks Completely Different
Without James around, the team would not have lost many games, not the way they have actually done. Darius Garland would have played for a different club. Isaac Okoro would also be elsewhere, along with Evan Mobley. Perhaps, there is no team to take on Jarrett Allen, and the Nets opt against pursuing James Harden.
LeBron had grown accustomed to playing on teams with great floor spacing, something Cleveland could have worked on. Had Kevin Love had his injury woes with James actually around, the regular season would have turned into a disaster. He would have had to log 38-40 minutes on the nightly, which his body was starting to show it could no longer handle.
They would be what the Lakers have been over the last few years. An odd assortment of veterans aligning at all the different roster spots.
John Beilein Never Gets Hired
In LeBron not leaving, the team would have had no reason to fire Ty Lue. They would not have begun 0-6 because more talent would be there. The veterans and young guys would understand who was actually supposed to be getting minutes.
James and Lue were very close, so the lines of communication for everybody would have been more open. Less confusion, more things that were obvious. And sure, they may not have won another title. But they would have remained a contender. And perhaps, Sexton even gets flipped for a proven player.
And, of course, John Beilein never gets the job. No slugs or thugs. No ineptitude in the coaching ranks. A different chapter altogether.
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