LeBron James: I’ve Never Played For A Super Team

By Michael Hurley, CBS Boston

BOSTON (CBS) — When LeBron James decided to take his talents to South Beach, he did so after planning carefully with six-time all-star Dwyane Wade, five-time all-star Chris Bosh and Hall of Famer Pat Riley.

When LeBron James decided to return to Cleveland, he did so knowing the Cavs had 2011 No. 1 overall pick Kyrie Irving and 2014 No. 1 overall pick Andrew Wiggins, who could be flipped in a trade for three-time all-star Kevin Love.

Both squads were, by definition, super teams.

Not, however, according to LeBron James.

After his team lost the Finals to the Warriors — a super team in their own right, albeit one built largely through the draft — LeBron was asked if he still likes the idea of building super teams.

“No, not really,” James said when asked if he understood the question. “I don’t believe I’ve played for a super team. I don’t believe in that. I don’t believe we’re a super team here. So, no, I don’t really. I don’t.”

This is an interesting opinion.

For one, there was this whole event when he joined the Heat.

gettyimages 102771306 LeBron James: Ive Never Played For A Super Team

Introduction of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh in Miami in 2010. (Photo by Doug Benc/Getty Images)

gettyimages 102772669 LeBron James: Ive Never Played For A Super Team

Introduction of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh in Miami in 2010. (Photo by Marc Serota/Getty Images)

gettyimages 102772543 LeBron James: Ive Never Played For A Super Team

Introduction of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh in Miami in 2010. (Photo by Marc Serota/Getty Images)

The WWE introductions are typically saved only for the most super of teams.

There was also the fact that his team in Miami attracted veteran ring hunters like a magnet. That included future Hall of Famer Ray Allen, who actually saved LeBron’s Heat from losing the 2013 Finals to the Spurs, and Richard Jefferson, who ranked sixth on the Cavs in postseason minutes during the 2016 run to a title.

LeBron can begrudge Kevin Durant for joining up with the 73-9 Warriors all he wants, but he likely understands that the Warriors were largely built the old-fashioned way. The team drafted its big three, and did so without needing the No. 1 overall pick. Stephen Curry was taken seventh in 2009, Klay Thompson was drafted 11th in 2011, and Draymond Green was drafted 35th overall in 2012.

That team was able to win a championship two years ago over LeBron’s Cavaliers, long before Durant was in the picture.

Adding Durant to the mix obviously gave Golden State an embarrassment of riches, as evidenced by their shiny new Larry O’Brien Trophy. They were for sure a super team … yet they were pretty close to being a super team even without Durant.

LeBron did give credit to the Warriors for being without a doubt the best team in the NBA this season.

“They assembled a great team. We were able to get them last year, and they went out and got one of the best players that this league has ever seen, so they did a good job of — a great job, their front office and their players, by doing that recruiting, the things that they did in the summertime, and obviously it paid dividends,” James said. “They’re going to be here for a while. They’re going to be around for a while. Pretty much all their guys are in their 20s. Pretty much all their big-name guys are in their 20s, and they don’t show any signs of slowing down. So there’s going to be a lot of teams that’s trying to figure out ways to put personnel together to try and match that if they’re able to actually face them in the Playoff series, both Eastern Conference and Western Conference. Because they’re built for — from my eyes, they’re built to last a few years.”

That’s all well and good. But, LeBron, come on, pal. You pretty much made the super team concept fashionable. I know the emotions are raw after the fifth Finals loss of your career, but let’s not try to change history here.

Comments

One Comment

  1. Paul Daniels says:

    I can see LeBron’s point, as well as the authors.

    The Heat with Wade, LeBron and Boch did not have the talent of the team they beat in the 2012 Finals – Durant, Westbrook, Harden and Ibaka. In fact, I recall many commentators laughing at that team after the “WWE style” press conference because they “didn’t even have a PG”. Can any fan actually recall the PG they ended up with???? Most I bet cannot. Tough to call that a super team when after assembly, they had gaping holes and I think most honest fans will tell you still paled in comparison to the current OKC team and the SPURS team with Duncan, Ginobelli, Parker, Bowen and other whily veterans.

    I think Lebron’s point was if he had joined that Spurs team or joined that OKC team, THEN THAT IS A SUPER TEAM.

    It would also be indicative of what Durant did. Durant joined a team he had down 3-1 and should have beaten. As a fan of another team not involved, the GSW team is just hard to respect.

  2. SERIOUSLY?! Get your facts straight. Lebron assembled a team of second stringers two years ago and still put a beat down on the Warriors who had no starters out injured. Kyrie and Love and Andy were all sidelined. The Cav’s were phenomenal considering.

  3. I think what lebron meant was he didn’t join a team that already has a good record like GSW who already had won a championship and surpass the record of 96 bulls team 73-9 record for a season

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