Cleveland Cavaliers: Why LeBron James was long gone

Cleveland Cavaliers LeBron James. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Cleveland Cavaliers LeBron James. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /

Considering all the dominos that fell, leaving the Cleveland Cavaliers was ultimately an easy one for LeBron James.

Cavs fans were hit with more heartbreaking details from the Kyrie trade that unfolded last summer, courtesy of LeBorn James.

In a report from Joe Vardon, a reporter for The Athletic, LeBron James insisted that the Cavaliers front office NOT trade Kyrie Irving, especially to the Boston Celtics.

Cleveland guaranteed James that they would not make that decision. Fifteen minutes later, the news broke out about Irving being shipped to the Celtics in return for locker room cancer Isaiah Thomas.

With the newest details leaked about that day in August of 2017, it’s apparent that it was the beginning of the end of James’ second stint with the Cleveland Cavaliers.

More from Factory of Sadness

Cleveland has been called out on their lackluster handling of LeBron James in the four years since his return. Especially the strain in the relationship between James and owner Dan Gilbert, it’s been awkward ever since Gilbert released a statement the night of James’ first departure from Cleveland.

The firing of GM David Griffin last summer prevented the possibility of trading for Paul George or Carmelo Anthony. Thank God the latter didn’t happen. With Griffin booted of the organization, it was the first brush on what would be a horribly painted picture.

Griffin brought a lot to the front office and provided Cleveland with multiple franchise changing trades and draft selections.

Griffin was the one to draft Andrew Wiggins which would eventually lead to the acquisition of perennial all-star Kevin Love. Griffin orchestrated contracts and helped build teams at the deadline to the liking of LeBron James. Griffin brought in players like Iman Shumpert, JR Smith, Timofey Mozgov, and Kyle Korver.

But with Griffin gone and Koby Altman taking over, there were multiple moves that were eye-opening. Altman signed Dwyane Wade which made James happy but Wade’s contributions on the court were minimal. Altman made the Irving trade which leaves Cleveland currently with only Ante Zizic as the only player remaining from that trade, in addition to the draft pick they used on Collin Sexton.

James theoretically made the Cavs mortgage the future in order to win now, something he never made the Heat or Lakers do. Neither the Heat or Lakers ever made a splash through trades, Miami made the biggest splash when signing sharpshooter Ray Allen.

As tiring it is to keep James happy through a four-year period, James only signed one-year deals each time he would re-up with the Cavs. James recently signed a four-year deal with the Los Angeles Lakers and signed a six-year deal with the Miami Heat that featured an opt-out after the fourth season.

With James not re-signing with the Cavaliers for multiple years, it gave the impression that Akron native was only seconds from leaving the team for the second time. A title victory in 2016 helped extend James’ time in the Land but it can be argued that he would’ve left even earlier had James and the Cavs not stormed back in the 2016 NBA Finals.

Miami was without the best pieces at the point guard and center position and it felt like they were never pressured to make a move in order to appease James.

Cleveland, on the other hand, was constantly working the phones in order to make James happy. This irked Irving as he has stated multiple times that it was time to move on, AKA they’re not asking for my opinion and they don’t care what I want.

Cleveland was always making moves in order to build the team around an aging James. He may be staying at the same talent level and sometimes even looks better with age but nonetheless he is still aging. Irving had to be thinking to himself, why not build around me?

Like stated earlier, the departure of Griffin was the first painful domino to fall. Irving being traded after James insisted for that not to happen was one of the few backbreakers.

3 truths the Lakers will learn about LeBron James. dark. Next

Not acquiring a superstar that summer didn’t help and the constant feud between owner Dan Gilbert and James had our attention throughout the four years.