LeBron James has always raised a lot of controversy among his peers, media and fans. You either love him or you hate him, even though nobody can discredit him or take away anything of what he’s accomplished over his career.
While some guys state that he’s actually an easy going fella that everybody loves, others believe he’s actually kind of passive-aggressive, but one thing’s for sure: he’s always pulled all the strings for the Cleveland Cavaliers.
That being said, it has been quite obvious that nobody arrives at Cleveland without James’ approval, but that also works in the opposite way, as he’s also responsible for several players’ departures. Today, we’ll let you know about the 6 players that left the team because of James.
6. Ricky Davis
Way back then in 2002, Ricky Davis was actually the Cleveland Cavaliers go-to-guy on offense, scoring over 20 points per game before the team Drafted James with the 1st overall pick of the mythical 2003 NBA Draft.
While Davis thought James was going to be a complement that could help him score, the team decided to trade him away after just 22 games, handing the keys of the car to the King, and the rest; as you know, is history.
5. Derrick Rose
Before the start of the season, LeBron James stated that he was going to get sure Derrick Rose got paid next season and that he was going to help him get back on his feet and to his prior level, something that was obviously a lie.
Just a couple of months into the season, Rose’s lack of explosiveness and commitment was pretty much evident, forcing the team to trade him amid their roster overhaul, something that obviously had a lot to do with keeping James happy.
4. Dion Waiters
Dion Waiters was just so full of himself and was one of the most problematic players in the league, always thinking he had to be the team’s first scoring option and even making the Cavs pass on Victor Oladipo because of his presence.
Naturally, this kind of player couldn’t coexist with the King during his homecoming, and eventually trading him actually paid off pretty nice for both parties, with Waiters thriving in OKC and Miami despite having a lesser role.
3. Andrew Wiggins
Andrew Wiggins was supposed to be the second coming of LeBron James or something like that, but as soon as the team found out about LeBron’s intentions of coming back home, they decided their brand new 1st overall pick was expendable.
Wiggins was sent to Minnesota before being able to suit up for the Cavs in the regular season in order to bring Kevin Love aboard, and while it definitely paid off for Cleveland, it may have taken a huge toll on Wiggins’ confidence.
2. Isaiah Thomas
Isaiah Thomas was traded against his will to the very same team that had knocked him and the Celtics out of playoff contention, and it was quite clear that there was a lot of bad blood between him and his former rivals that had now become his teammates.
Thomas and James didn’t get along and IT stated that he needed more touches to find rhythm and James was so ball dominant. Also, he didn’t hesitate to state that he was just the team’s scapegoat and their defensive miscues weren’t just his fault, while also taking several not so subtle shots at Ty Lue.
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1. Kyrie Irving
Kyrie Irving was tired of being the Robin to LeBron’s Batman, demanding a surprising trade away of the team despite having made 3 straight trips to the NBA Finals in order to prove that he was ready to be a team’s go-to-guy.
Sadly for him, he was unable to prove it as he was forced to miss the last third of the season with a knee injury, but he was playing the best ball of his career with the Boston Celtics, and hopefully he can go back to full strength next season.