Sixers hope LeBron will join despite NBA Finals appearance
Throughout LeBron James legendary eight-year Finals spurt, nobody expected him to be challenged in the Eastern Conference. Fast forward to 2018 and the King has now seen two series reach seven games. The upstart Indiana Pacers were confident playing game seven against the Cavs but fell short. Many thought the Celtics would oust the Cavs after going up 2-0 in the Eastern Conference Finals. However, this was not the case and James quickly stormed back to tie the series. Nobody thought the injury-ridden Celtics would be able to challenge LeBron to begin with. Without stars Gordon Hayward and Kyrie Irving, Boston looked like damaged goods. They shocked the King down to the core, taking the Cavs to seven games and coming up just short, sending the King to his eighth straight NBA Finals appearance.
Although Cleveland is not expected to defeat the Golden State Warriors, his postseason is still very questionable. A Finals appearance is an accolade for any player, but not James. If he does not win his fourth championship this year, he may pack his bags for good. The only question now is whether James would join the Sixers or not. The young Philly team has loads of potential, and hopefully the pieces LeBron needs to join, despite a 2018 finals appearance.
Should LeBron leave regardless of a Finals appearance?
Most players would not consider leaving a team that just made it to the NBA Finals. LeBron, however, is not one of those people. After three consecutive appearances with Cleveland, the team looks spent. Head Coach Tyronn Lue looks lost trying to make adjustments against better NBA teams. At times it seems like LeBron is the coach of the Cavs, and Lue is simply an assistant. The team also failed to make any worthy trades before the deadline. Last year, an off-season blunder sent Kyrie to the Celtics in exchange for Isaiah Thomas. This trade became disastrous for Cleveland and they could never figure out how to integrate Thomas into the lineup.
The team is a mess to put it simply, and James is the only cohesive force on the team. Kevin Love looks like a star on some days, but is usually very streaky or injury prone. There doesn’t seem to be many bright spots left for the Cavs, even if LeBron chooses to stay. It would be best for his career to leave, even with a Finals appearance, especially with the newfound Eastern Conference talent.
NBC Sports reporter John Clark made a Twitter poll asking followers whether they believe James going to the Finals helps or hurts the Sixers chances of getting him:
Do you feel LeBron James going to Finals again hurts or helps chances of him coming to Sixers next season#PhilaUnite
— John Clark (@JClarkNBCS) May 28, 2018
One Twitter user could not believe Sixers fans wouldn’t want LeBron:
I can’t believe ANY 76er fan wouldn’t want LeBron next year. He hasn’t slowed one bit & he’s not going to “run” the organization.
He would join Simmons/Embiid & the Sixers would win a CHAMPIONSHIP.
And for the idiots who think it would be “tainted,” skip out on the parade then. pic.twitter.com/bKo633R2DA
— Eagles Fan Problems (@EagleFanProbs) February 23, 2018
Is Philadelphia the right fit for the King?
LeBron needs a few different pieces in order to flourish. A point guard who can handle the passing load is something he has never had on any team. The Sixers excel in that department, boasting one of the great young NBA point guards. Ben Simmons was fantastic for Philly this year and proved he is a capable passer and scorer. His lack of a jump shot might also be enticing to James, as he can both help Simmons and receive the bulk of the passes from teammates. One problem the King has always faced is a scoring point guard. After 15 years in the NBA, LeBron could use another primary ball-handler to pick up the slack.
He has also never played beside an elite big man in his prime. Joel Embiid is that for the Sixers and more. There is never a dull moment when Embiid is out on the court, and his defensive prowess would put LeBron’s mind at ease. If there has ever been a more perfect situation for the King to join, it just might be Philadelphia. Despite an eighth straight NBA Finals appearance this year, a lackluster Cleveland team could send the king to the City of Brotherly Love this offseason.
Featured Image: Keith Allison via Flickr