It’s one thing to know and appreciate what LeBron James brings to the floor on a nightly basis for the Cleveland Cavaliers, but seeing firsthand how the four-time Most Valuable Player impacts the game brings a whole new meaning to the King James experience.
In Jordan Zirm’s recent article for Bleacher Report, a number of his new teammates this season shared their own accounts of becoming witnesses.
Rookie Cedi Osman recounts James’ comments after the season opener against the Boston Celtics which made the Turkish swingman doublecheck if he heard what James said correctly:
“The first game against Boston, he had 29, 16 and nine,” Osman recalled, reciting his points, rebounds and assists. “After the game, he was like, ‘I’m not in good shape.’ That was the moment that I was like, ‘Uh…what?’ That was one of the strangest moments. Like, ‘Wow, 29, 16 and nine, and then you’re like I’m not in good shape.’”
Larry Nance is a new favorite of James when it comes to serving up passes for highlight slams. He also knows how the Cavs leader’s greatness has become so routine for him that some people are underappreciating a few of his monster performances.
“It was a big game for me. But everybody is blowing up and making all this noise, like, ‘Oh my God, Larry won us this game. Larry, Larry, Larry,’” Nance said. “And I’m like, ‘Did you not see that [LeBron] had 31, seven and seven?’ Those type of numbers he puts up every night and is underappreciated for it. How you can put up 31, seven and seven and be unnoticed is absurd to me. That was my moment of, people just take this for granted. And it’s crazy.”
It’s not just Nance, point guard Jose Calderon also notices the same injustice that James’ play has received. That speaks a lot because Calderon has been around some excellent talent both in the NBA and in the international game
“There’s one of those [crazy] moments every other day,” Calderon said. “Sometimes he’ll throw a behind-the-back pass in practice and you’re like, ‘Ah, OK, I guess this is normal.’ I think sometimes we’re so used to [his play] we forget about it. That’s why we talk about other guys. He does too much, man. It’s amazing.”
That said, James will continue to mind his own business. He is on track to play in all 82 games, delivering MVP-type numbers at the age of 33 and in his 15th season in the NBA. Many may have discounted the Cavs, but he is out to provide another shocker to those naysayers.
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