Rumor: LeBron James want to play off the ball more in future
Asked about Kyrie Irving before the season, LeBron James said: “When he was ready to take over the keys, I was ready to give them to him.”
But by then, it was too late. The Cavaliers had already traded the point guard to the Celtics, leaving LeBron in the driver’s seat.
It won’t be LeBron’s last chance to find a teammate worth deferring to. LeBron can opt out this summer.
Know who doesn’t? The Cavs, who require LeBron to create so much for himself and his teammates.
Cleveland could change that through the draft (ahem, Trae Young), free agency or trades. But the Cavaliers are playing from behind if this is important to LeBron.
There are really two questions at play here:
Does LeBron actually want to play off the ball? Rumors like this can easily get overstated.
Does LeBron think he actually wants to play off the ball? This is probably the more important question. LeBron might shift into old habits once he tries to play off the ball. Many stars struggle to transition into a complementary role. But if this is what he thinks he wants, that could factor into his upcoming free agency.
Managing LeBron’s role next season might be tricky. It’s far more important just to get him on your team first.