Richard Jefferson says LeBron James didn’t return to Cleveland thinking he’d go to four straight Finals
Many are critical of James’ decision to join the Los Angeles Lakers this offseason. The Lakers were 12 games outside of the playoff picture last year. They were far from being a championship contender. People expected James would only leave the Cavs to join a major player. Instead, he opted for a team bursting with young talent in a desirable location. Jefferson suggests that James makes moves based on his confidence in himself, rather than others.
From Marc Stein of the New York Times:
“When he went back to Cleveland, I promise you he didn’t go there thinking, ‘O.K., it’s time to go to four straight N.B.A. finals,’” Jefferson said of James’s return to the Cavaliers in 2014. “But would anyone really be surprised if the Lakers made the conference finals? He’s that good. Any time LeBron steps on the court, he’s the best player on the court. There’s a bigger gap than I think many people would really believe.”
LeBron James won two championships in four years with the Miami Heat. When he left, he joined a 33-49 team that finished 10th in the Eastern Conference. Kyrie Irving had a great year. He even won MVP of the All-Star game that season. However, the team couldn’t measure up to a team that featured Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh.
Even still, LeBron James bet on himself and believed in his dream. His stature is able to attract highly capable veterans that want to play with the best. We’ve already seen this happen with the Lakers. Richard Jefferson has seen it all happen before, so we shouldn’t be surprised if King James pulls off another miracle.
And yet, LeBron remains a hero to the masses and a positive force in the NBA.