The Cleveland Cavaliers surely had braced themselves for LeBron James leaving the franchise (again), but it likely didn’t make the star forward’s departure from The Land any easier to deal with.
James wasted no time on the open market, as he agreed to join the Los Angeles Lakers on the very first day of NBA free agency. The swiftness of James’ decision had to have come as a surprise to the Cavs, who The King has played for in all but four seasons of his 15-year career.
For Cleveland general manager Koby Altman, James leaving his hometown for Tinseltown brought on a wide range of emotions.
“When you first get hit with it, there is a level of hurt,” Altman told ESPN’s Dave McMenamin. “You’re hurt because of what you went through for the four years with him and what he meant to us. But I was extremely thankful at the same time. I realize what we accomplished this year and the last four years, and we did a lot. I mean, it was four incredible years led by him, and I’m very thankful for the years he gave our team, this organization, the city.”
It’s tough to blame Altman for feeling this way, as James is a once-in-a-lifetime talent who has taken the organization to new heights. But now that James is heading west, the Cavs can ill-afford to dwell on the past as they start a new chapter and attempt to remain competitive.
Thumbnail photo via David Richard/USA TODAY Sports
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