The Kevin Love trade has not gone through yet and people are already complaining. I read comments where people are upset at LeBron James for going back to Cleveland. They are mad about this Kevin Love trade because LeBron wants to play with another All-Star.
I think there is a misunderstanding about the game of basketball. Individual players get more praise than other sports because basketball players can change the outcome of a game more than any other team sport because they can make an impact on both sides of the ball. Teams are usually overlooked and people think one player wins a title.
Players come together to form a great team and win championships in any sport. It has always been that way and it will never change. No great player won a title alone. In the NBA most young teams don’t do play and are usually in the lottery. There are some young teams like the Oklahoma City Thunder that grow together and succeed although they have not won the title. Veteran teams play better and win titles in the NBA.
Winning in Cleveland will be tough for LeBron James even if they add Kevin Love. The average age of the Cavaliers last season was 24.6. They just drafted Andrew Wiggins so they would be adding a 19 year old kid to that team. The Cavs would not be in the lottery with LeBron James but why join and keep such a young team? They won the lottery three times since LeBron left. They are young and LeBron knows there has to be a balance of young players and veterans in order to win a championship.
Say what you want about LeBron’s time in Miami. He went there to learn and win championships. He was criticized, he experienced his worst moments during the 2011 Finals, he learned from that and he won titles. He grew up and now he knows what it takes to win a title in this league.
LeBron also knows he needs good teammates to win championships. His teammates were not the best while he was with the Cavaliers. His best teammates throughout the years were:
03-04 – 15.4 ppg Ricky Davis (only 22 games), Carlos Boozer (22 years old) and Zydrunas Ilgauskas (28)
04-05 – 16.9 – Ilgauskas and 14.4 – Drew Gooden
05-06 – 15.5 – Larry Hughes and 13.5 – Ronald “Flip” Murray
06-07 – 14.9 – Larry Hughes
07-08 – 14.1 Ilgauskas
08-09 – 17.1 – Mo Williams
09-10 – 15.8 Mo Williams and Antawn Jamison
These players are not horrible but they cannot be the second best player on a championship team. LeBron was young and the veteran leadership was not around him. When Shaq joined the team he was past his prime and missed a lot of games.
The Miami Heat in 2010 average age was 30.2. They had too many old big men but they Dwyane Wade, Udonis Haslem and Eddie House; players with championship experience. The Heat lost in the Finals against the Mavericks and that was because LeBron played poorly.
Young teams don’t win titles so LeBron joining a young core of Kyrie Irving, Dion Waiters, Andrew Wiggins, Anthony Bennett and Tristan Thompson would not be enough to win it all. Since the 2003-04 season until last season the average age of NBA champions is 28.6.
The youngest team on the list was the 2008-09 Lakers who had an average age of 26.1. Andrew Bynum, Sasha Vujacic, Jordan Farmar and Trevor Ariza were all under 25. However the Lakers had Pau Gasol (28), Kobe Bryant (30), Derek Fisher (34) and Lamar Odom (29). Kobe and Fisher won multiple titles and Phil Jackson was coaching them.
The oldest team to win a title in that span was the 2012-13 Miami Heat at an average age of 31.2. They barely won that series against the younger Spurs. The Heat kept the same team and looked very old against the Spurs. The Spurs had a good mix of veterans and young players. The Spurs average age in those two NBA Finals were 28.1 and 28.5.
People should applaud LeBron for joining the Cavs and pushing them to make the move for Love. The Cavs would be adding veterans with championship experience LeBron James, Mike Miller and James Jones. They also get another veteran in Kevin Love while getting rid of the number one picks from the past two seasons Anthony Bennett and Andrew Wiggins.
Mixing the veterans with the young core of Irving, Waiters and Thompson makes the Cavs a better team. LeBron has a lot of power and he is using it to get the best possible team on the floor to win a title. Nothing is guaranteed so why are you so mad about this trade? The season will still be tough for the Cavaliers but their chances to win a title go up with more veterans.