It took a while, but the Lakers woke up and smelled the coffee, pulling a mindboggling coup to shove Pao Gasol into the lineup with Kobe Bryant.
The Suns juiced up their already-stacked roster with Shaq; the Mavs similarly sought out All-World point guard Jason Kidd; a while back, the Nuggets gave Carmelo Anthony his very own Iverson.
Teams in the NBA, especially those with superstars, seem committed to winning these days, as indicated by their willingness to spend money for quality help. That is--every team except one: Cleveland.
The Cavaliers feature a once-in-a-lifetime star in Lebron James, a 30/8/8 machine who defies all physical laws. Put simply, Lebron is a monster.
How, then, does one explain the Cavs' supporting cast? Consider:
- Big Z makes over $10 million.
- Wally Zurbeeak makes over $12 million.
- Ben Wallace makes over $15 million.
All tolled, that's almost $40 million this year that Cleveland will spend on a 32-year-old lumbering center, a 31-year-old Kyle Korver model, and a 33-year-old has-been. Hmm.
The Lakers nearly lost Kobe Bryant before they realized they needed to surround him with players. The Suns traded one of their cornerstones (Shawn Marion) to acquire Shaq and (hopefully) contend for a title. When will the Cavaliers show some bravado and sign a marquee name to play alongside LBJ?
Think about it:
- Wade had Shaq.
- Chauncey/Rip/'Sheed have each other.
- Paul Pierce now has KG and Ray Ray.
- Kobe has Pao.
- Duncan/Parker/Bowen/Ginobli have each other.
- Yao has T-Mac.
- Dirk has Kidd.
Even Jordan had Scottie.
No matter how great a player is, he can't win an NBA title alone. Sure, Daniel Gibson is a strong player and had a great postseason last year. Otherwise, what're the Cavs to do--hang their hopes on aging, overrated stars? Ride Anderson Varejao to a title?
AI wandered the wilderness in Philly, winning an MVP but being hosed in the Finals. Hosed in the Finals--sound familiar? It happened to Lebron last year.
Until Cleveland commits to winning... the King stands alone.