Koby Altman says that LeBron James leaving the Cleveland Cavaliers lead to the Cavs falling flat as a franchise in 2018.
LeBron James became the most hated player across all North American sports in 2010 when he decided to take his talents to South Beach. Leaving his home state team of the Cleveland Cavaliers seemingly burned down several bridges he had made with people at that franchise, including Dan Gilbert who penned a scathing letter addressed to ‘The King’.
However, after accomplishing what he sought to accomplish as a member of the Miami Heat, he returned to the Cavs in the summer of 2014. Not only did he fulfil his promise of bringing a championship back home, he did so while being on good terms with the people in the front office.
Unfortunately for the Cleveland, LeBron James would leave yet again in 2018 after taking the Cavs to 4 straight NBA Finals. According to Koby Altman, President of Basketball Ops for the Cavs from 2017 onwards, the franchise fell flat.
Koby Altman on LeBron James leaving and building a competent franchise.
Losing perhaps the greatest player to ever play the game in his prime to free agency would hurt any franchise, especially on that operates in a small market like Cleveland. With reality setting in, the Cavaliers immediately looked to build through the draft and they did so impeccably, as explained by Koby Altman on ‘The Woj Pod’.
“When LeBron left, we fell flat on our face as a franchise. We weren’t rooted in anything in terms of a culture, a foundation.” Full audio of Koby Altman on The Woj Pod: https://t.co/5VYLXMNh6u pic.twitter.com/11TbcGguT9
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) February 22, 2022
The Cavs are mere 2.5 games back from the number seed and have built a team that is young and talented enough to reach the Eastern Conference Finals in just 4 years since James’s departure.
Led by their two All-Stars in Darius Garland and Jarrett Allen, the Cavaliers have a defensive rating of 106.5 which is good for 4th best in the league. They are also 7th in 2P% and just by the eye test alone, are offensively competent at all three levels