The Cleveland Cavaliers have been looking bad lately, and the writing has been on the wall for quite some time. However, after a loss to the Orlando Magic on Tuesday night, the writing may have been on the wall for the Cavaliers for a different reason. James’ 36-point, 11 assist performance against the Magic sent Cleveland into a tailspin, especially when he told reporters after the game that he was not bothered by the fans booing him, and that he was determined to turn the team around.
For most NBA fans, the first thing that comes to mind when thinking of LeBron James is greatness . James is a two-time NBA Most Valuable Player, has won three NBA titles, and is widely regarded as one of the top five players to ever play the game. But before all that, he was just a kid who dreamed of making it to the NBA and making his family proud.
On the evening of November 23rd, 2003, the Cleveland Cavaliers were sitting pretty at the top of the Eastern Conference, undefeated in their last 13 games. The fantasy-sports of that era would probably have you believe they had the best team in the entire league, and perhaps the best group of players in NBA history.. Read more about lebron james injury and let us know what you think.LeBron James has led the Cleveland Cavaliers, Miami Heat and Los Angeles Lakers to the top and won at least one championship with all three teams. But it also sent one of those teams into a downward spiral: Cavs in the 2010-11 season. One big performance from James, who was traded to the Heat last summer, changed the Cavaliers for the rest of the year.
Cleveland Cavaliers’ Byron Scott (left) talks to Daniel Gibson during the game against the Boston Celtics on the 27th. October 2010. | Gregory Shamus/Getty Images
LeBron James has led the Cavs to great success in his first tenure in Cleveland. They reached the NBA Finals in 2007 and had the best record in the NBA in the 2008-09 and 2009-10 seasons.
But when he left Cleveland for the Miami Heat in the summer of 2010, many Cavaliers players realized they were in trouble, though some still had hope.
Coming from that culture, we all felt like we could win, former Cavs guard Daniel Bubi Gibson told The Athletic earlier this year. In the beginning we felt we still had a chance to be competitive and we didn’t want to give up because it was gone. We had some hope.
The Cavs have posted a number of wins early in the season; they have a 4-3 record in seven games. Even though they were in Cleveland for James’ first game at 2nd. December 2010 was not great, they had a modest 7-10 record.
Then everything took a drastic turn, thanks to James’ amazing performance.
James’ first game in Cleveland was an emotional one for everyone. The fans were furious and some players were also injured.
Oh, my God. There is so much hype surrounding this game, former Cavs forward Antawn Jamison told The Athletic. There were many young people talking: When King comes back, we’ll show him. We were just as excited about the game as LeBron himself.
Even James felt uncomfortable that night.
It was strange. LeBron felt uncomfortable in his own skin, and LeBron tried to create those moments that weren’t real, former Cavaliers player Ryan Hollins told The Athletic. He went to the couch and tried to talk to the guys on the couch and we talked to him: What are you doing? We won’t be happy if you jump us in the next five minutes.
In the end, the Heat defeated the Cavs by a score of 118-90. James also scored a game-high 38 points on 15-of-25 attempts. He also had five rebounds and eight assists.
This game will ultimately mean more to the Cavs’ season than the players themselves realize.
That night set us back 15 to 20 games, Jamison told The Athletic. After that game, it went downhill. That game blew us away and we never recovered.
This is more than just a setback for the Cavs. This is their second loss in a series where they have suffered 36 losses in 37 games. Without the win in overtime against the New York Knicks, they would have lost 37 consecutive games. As a result, Cleveland lost the 20th. December 2010 to the 9th. February 2011 26 consecutive games and was 19-63 overall this season.
The team has not been able to fully recover from the loss of James this year. His performance essentially broke them up.
And for King, it was a night he would never forget.
LeBron James of the Miami Heat smiles at the line of scrimmage before the game against the Cleveland Cavaliers in Game 2. December 2010. | Gregory Shamus/Getty Images
James went on to discuss his return to Cleveland in 2018 in an interview with ESPN.
It was something no one had ever seen before, he said, according to ESPN. Everyone knew the emotion behind it. Cable television has ensured that every moment is captured. It was a strange feeling to go back. The trip home was frustrating because of the situation. And I knew everyone was in high demand.
He continued: As soon as I walked onto the field during the warm-up, you could hear the boos. It was probably the loudest booing I’ve ever heard in my life. I felt hostile. I could feel the research. But once the ball rolled, I was in my safe space.
That night in 2010, both parties were angry and uncomfortable, but all ended well in the end.
The Cavaliers selected #1 and #4 in the 2011 NBA Draft. They chose Kyrie Irving and Tristan Thompson.
Cleveland used the No. 1 pick for Andrew Wiggins in 2014, then traded him for Kevin Love, and James returned to Cleveland that same year. He, Irving, Love and Thompson eventually led the Cavs to the 2016 NBA title; the franchise went from laughingstock to basketball superpower.
James may have helped Cleveland fans through a dark period, but he then thanked them by winning an NBA championship.
All is forgiven.
Statistics provided by Basketball Reference
COMPARED TO: Stephen A. Smith gives Cavs fans hopes of a reunion with LeBron James, then throws those dreams to the ground a second laterLeBron James isn’t the only athlete to use the phrase “tailspin” in regards to a team. But, let’s be real. The Miami Heat were never a juggernaut of a team, but were a bit of a surprise success during the early 2000s. Which is what makes what LeBron James did against the Milwaukee Bucks this past April so impressive.. Read more about lebron james rings count and let us know what you think.
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