The NBA world is less than 5 days away from the start of the 2016-17 regular season. There is ample anticipation to get things started in Cleveland on Tuesday when the Cleveland Cavaliers will raise their championship banner, get their rings, and take on the new-look New York Knicks.
Things haven’t always been so rosy for the newly-crowned “City of Champions” though. In 2010, their current franchise cornerstone was looking for a way to keep up with a heated rival in the Boston Celtics.
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LeBron James told Cleveland.com that he wanted to do everything possible to extinguish Celtic Pride.
The King explained his outlook at the time: “I understood at that point in time that in order for me to compete for a championship and get to that next level. I had to figure out and get with some guys that could be on the same level as Paul, Ray, (Rajon) Rondo, KG and those guys.”
He surveyed the landscape of the league at that point and identified who the key free agents were. These players were the ones who were going to let him contend with Boston. In his words: “So I knew I had to try and get some guys to try and get Boston, man. That was my mindset.”
The story is well known at this point, he went to Miami with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh and there were four straight finals appearances. Their collective effort extinguished the title window of those same Celtics.
But, now with six straight finals appearances under his belt, the time has come that others around the league are chasing him. Look no further than the rival Golden State Warriors, who the Cavs beat to claim their title, and their unprecedented collection of talent.
Now a new superteam is eyeing him up with the same intent that he had in 2010. But, will they be successful? Only time will tell.