Jalen Rose suggests LeBron James is ‘as good as gone’ in Cleveland
ESPN analyst Jalen Rose expanded on his point of the potential end of LeBron James in a Cleveland Cavaliers jersey, being one of the first people to bring it out on various ESPN shows, as well as during the coverage of the NBA Finals.
Asked if he felt The King could indeed leave his hometown Cavs a second time, Rose didn’t stutter at all.
“I think he’s as good as gone, and he’s greasing the skids,” said Rose on his show Jalen & Jacoby. “I’ve talked about this since the end of the NBA Finals and then it became a topic for national consumption.”
James became an immediate topic of conversation after losing in the NBA Finals in five games, after having undoubtedly the best series of his 14-year career — still not proving enough to take down a Titan.
“During the last year when the Cleveland Cavaliers were carrying 14 players on their roster, that was viewed as cheap,” Rose recalled. “So what do they go and do after that after LeBron spoke about it? They signed D-Will, they signed [Andrew] Bogut, they acquired Channing Frye the prior season.”
“Now all of a sudden they’re trying to do what they can to improve their roster. They get to the NBA Finals, but they weren’t the No. 1 seed, so they were a team that had some flaws last year… Now you get to the NBA Finals, you lose to the Golden State Warriors, who beat you convincingly. You’re going into the offseason, you lose your general manager — and not just lose the first general manager that helped bring the first championship to the franchise, but also a guy that has had a terrific amount of success in that position at a crucial time when free agents are going around, potential trades were happening.”
The firing of David Griffin was perhaps the last straw for James, who’s grown used to a franchise that will do anything to take him to the top of the mountain, having reached seven straight NBA Finals. The absence of a general manager proved devastating to the franchise, as the only acquisitions made to date have been the signings of Jose Calderon, Kyle Korver, Jeff Green, and Cedi Osman — all mere role players while teams around the NBA have been snatching starter-quality talent in one of the richest free agent classes in recent memory.
“What’s gonna happen with Jimmy Butler?,” said Rose. “What’s gonna happen with Paul George? What’s gonna happen with Carmelo Anthony? Now all of a sudden you fire your GM, you don’t hire somebody to replace him, so now LeBron James is looking around like ‘You know what? The clock is ticking.'”