James is often accused of changing clubs. Allegedly, he ran away from the Cleveland Cavaliers, then left the Miami Heat and again left his native Ohio for Los Angeles. The fact is that LeBron was always looking for the best opportunities to win the title. LeBron’s career was engulfed by the existence of the dominant dynasties of the San Antonio Spurs and the Golden State Warriors, so he could not just sit still.
Ultimately, James brought the title to every franchise he played for. This included delivering on a promise to capture the Cavaliers’ first-ever championship by beating the Warriors superteam with an all-time regular season record 73-9 after a landmark comeback from a 1-3 deficit in the final series.
Despite all the criticism for frequently changing clubs, LeBron does his job brilliantly. The king actually brings titles to players (often problematic), who in other circumstances could not even dream of rings. There are already four dozen of them.
During the LeBron era in Miami, Juwan Howard, Joel Anthony, Shane Battier, Chris Bosh, Mario Chalmers, Norris Cole, Eddie Curry, Terrell Harris, James Jones, Mike Miller, Dexter Pittman, Ronnie Turiaf, Chris Andersen, Rashard Lewis, Jarvis Varnado.
In Cleveland, these were Matthew Dellavedova, Channing Fry, Kyrie Irving, Richard Jefferson, Dontay Jones, Alexander Kaun, Kevin Love, Jordan McRae, Timofey Mozgov, Iman Shumpert, JR Smith, Tristan Thompson, Mo Williams.
In Los Angeles, Costas Antetokounmpo, Avery Bradley, Devonte Kaycock, Kentavius Caldwell-Pope, Alex Caruso, Anthony Davis, Jared Dudley, Talen Horton-Tucker, Dwight Howard, Kyle Kuzma, Markieff Morris, Dion Waiters, DeMarcus Cousins.
In the 2019/2020 season, only Rajon Rondo, Danny Green and JaVale McGee are the only ones in the Lakers who have had title experience behind them. James, 35, has helped turn the vast majority of his teammates into champions.
LeBron broke into a series of historical records. But how bad are his partners!
You can remember how skeptical the Lakers’ equipment was perceived immediately after the arrival of LeBron in 2018. Lance Stevenson, Michael Beasley, Rajon Rondo, JaVale McGee, Jared Dudley, Markieff Morris are performers with a very difficult character who have earned a reputation as “toxic”. The team began to be called “funny” and similar characteristics. In the first season, an injury prevented LeBron from making the Lakers a title contender, further fueling the King’s critics.
Then there was the trade of Anthony Davis from the New Orleans Pelicans. Stevenson and Beasley were no longer in the line-up, but they were replaced by even more ambiguous personalities. DeMarcus Cousins, Avery Bradley, Dwight Howard – no one in the NBA has expressed a desire to sign them.
Cousins suffered from an Achilles injury. Instead of a maximum contract, it got to the point that the once best center in the NBA (as he was called not only by experts, but also by LeBron himself) turned out to be unnecessary to anyone. Only the Lakers decided to sign him to a minimum contract. In addition to health problems, there was another “red flag”. DeMarcus is very unstable on the floor and holds the NBA record for technical fouls in a season he plays. Unfortunately, he never managed to appear in the form of the Lakers. In the preseason, Cousins received another severe injury – he tore his cruciate ligaments. Only now Demarcus comes to his senses and begins training. American insiders report that the Lakers are considering offering him a contract for next season, despite all the health risks.
Dwight Howard was signed to replace Cousins. Not a single NBA club wanted to take Superman either. The 8-time All-Star survived a steep fall. In the second half of the decade, Dwight became a real nomad player. Houston Rockets, Atlanta Hawks, Charlotte Hornets, Washington Wizards, Memphis Grizzlies. Superman was thrown from one place to another like an illiquid asset. Howard did not stay anywhere longer than a year. The “toxicity” and scandalousness of the center was noted. Atlanta players allegedly even greeted the news of Dwight’s departure with cheers when they found out about it in the locker room. Howard did not play for Memphis at all, since the club saw no value in him and took only as an appendage in a deal whose purpose was to offload the payroll.
Dwight was very close to moving to China or some weak Asian country championship. But fate gave him a second chance. After Cousins’ injury, the Lakers needed a center. Anthony Davis vouched for Howard to LeBron. The King decided to recruit Superman, who was given a non-guaranteed minimum contract. The Lakers had the right to kick Howard at any time if he started to provoke any scandals. Luckily, the work ethic was fine this time around.