Miami Heat players Chris Bosh and Mario Chalmers made headlines this week for comments many deemed as inflammatory about former teammate and current Cleveland Cavaliers star, LeBron James.
Bosh said that playing with James was “extremely difficult and extremely frustrating” at times and that being James’ teammate will be “very difficult for” new Cavs power forward Kevin Love, according to Bleacher Report’s Ethan J. Skolnick. Chalmers said that Cavaliers point guard Kyrie Irving will have to “adjust” to playing with LeBron, according to Chris Haynes of Cleveland.com.
Many media outlets picked apart Bosh’s and Chalmers’ words, making it seem as if the two were complaining about their time as LeBron’s teammates. This, of course, got back to LeBron and he commented on the situation.
LeBron: “I know a lot of words have been coming out of their camp as of late, and some of it is surprising” — cc @MiamiHEAT
— Joe Vardon (@joevardon) October 10, 2014
But James, and much of the media media, are misconstruing the comments made by the two current Heat players.
Bosh was simply saying that transitioning from being a team’s No. 1 option to playing alongside James is a difficult task. Before playing with James, Bosh was a lock for 20 points per game with the Toronto Raptors and was the team’s focal point offensively. Bosh became more of a complementary piece once he joined forces in Miami with James in 2010 and he averaged just 16.2 points per game in their final season together.
Love averaged a whopping 26.1 points per game with the Minnesota Timberwolves last season. That’s unsustainable as a teammate of James’. LeBron is the greatest player in the world and will be the No. 1 offensive option on whatever team he’s on, regardless of who else is on the team.
The decrease in offensive touches and responsibility will take some time for Love to get used to, as Bosh said.
And sure, Irving, who was the Cavaliers’ top player last season, will also have to get used to James’ playing style. LeBron is going to handle the ball and run the offense frequently, meaning Irving will have to learn to play off-the-ball. That will take time for Irving to get comfortable with.
Chalmers and Bosh did not insult James. The two surely would take him back as a teammate in a heartbeat. But playing with James forces players into making sacrifices that aren’t easy to make. All Chalmers and Bosh did was point that out.