The balance of NBA power has shifted to Cleveland

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In the few times in NBA history where the league's best player has taken his talents to another city, the shift of power in the league was felt very soon after. 

Kareem to LA in 1975 set the stage for five Laker championships.

Moses Malone in '82 to Philadelphia pushed the 76ers' over the top in his first season.

LeBron to Miami in 2010 turned the Heat in to the NBA's most recent dynasty.

Now, with the King heading home to join forces with all-star Kyrie Irving, a second shift of the LeBron Era seemed on the horizon, but with all the news that a Kevin Love-to-Cleveland trade is all but completed, this summer in Cleveland now looks very similar to the Heat coup of 2010.

How its a little bit different

When Kareem went to Los Angeles in 1975, the Lakers were far from a finished product, and it took the addition of Magic to put them over the top, but in Miami, just four years ago, the accumulation of elite talent happened with veterans, like this summer on the banks of Lake Erie, but in a bit of a different way than on South Beach.

Sure, there was a young(ish) veteran all-star in the city that LeBron fled to this time, just like last time, and a versatile power forward with a reputation for not playing defense who was joining the party, but in this case, its about championships, and dealing with age, at least for LeBron.

Chris Bosh ans Dwyane Wade were well into their 20's when the then-reigning MVP took his talents to South Beach, while Love is just 25 and Irving, just 22.

There may have been wonder about how the future would play itself out at the end of everyone's contract in Miami, but in Cleveland, the future already will be there, with Irving signed for the next six seasons, and Love committing to a five-year max extension to play on LeBron's team.

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What this means for the NBA Future

The summer of 2010 marked the beginning of NBA stars, in prime years, making the move to play with others to win titles, totally of their own volition.

This summer, with what's going on in Cleveland, may be the most powerful player statement ever made.

LeBron's move back to the Cavs put the team behind the eight ball, demanding, and getting a two-year contract, with an opt-out next summer.

That deal forced the Cavs to move quickly, and go after Love, even with the willingness to trade the most highly touted small forward to enter the draft since the King himself, in Andrew Wiggins.

This will be the 'new normal' in the NBA as free agents decide that championships come from teams with great players, and not a single great player on a team.

LeBron found that out in Miami, and he's likely to find it out again soon in Cleveland.


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