Last night, “We want Lebron” rang out through the Staples arena as the Los Angeles Clippers’ fans chanted for the Cleveland Cav’s King of Basketball to take the court. Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love were already benched for injuries when the Cavs decided to also bench Lebron James.
The Cavs knew that they would receive backlash for benching the three; just last weekend the Golden State Warriors also sat their top players for the Saturday Night Prime Time game, and got a lot of heat for the move.
The commentators had a field day last night. These are a few of the comments we caught while watching the Cavs/Clippers game:
- “Every player now works out like a phenom, all summer long and three-a-days, but not sure how much every player likes to compete in the game.”
- “If the commissioner changes the schedule around, the medical staff will still find a way to have players take days off.”
- “We can play once a month and people will take a day off.”
- “The reason the salaries are so high is because it is a hard job. It is strenuous and it is taxing, and it is demanding and that is why you make big money.”
- “Star players who are not playing should go out before the game and take selfies and autographs with some of the fans. It’s a little something to say I’m sorry and We are thinking of you.” (“That implies that they do care, and we don’t know that”)
- “If you want to show that you do care for the fans – just play the games.”
- “Harden and Westbrook play every night, no resting. They must have different athletic performance teams. They play big minutes and play all out.”
- “Durability has to be a consideration when going for those type of awards (MVP).”
Since the start of the 2014 season, the Cavs are 4-20 when LeBron James does not play. This goes to show how much the regular season means. The Cavs have been in the Championship ever since LeBron came back, so making it to the Finals is not a reflection of the day-to-day schedule. It seems that instead of the game being about the fans, it is more about the post season and championship rings.
We do understand about having a fully healthy team going into the playoffs. When it comes down to the end of the season, all that really matters is winning the Championship. However, there are thousands of fans paying top dollar for tickets to see their favorite players play. What a disappointment when the top three players are sitting on the bench! Last year, Don took his son to a Cavs game and found out on the way to Cleveland that LeBron would not be playing. While they still enjoyed the game, they were both disappointed that they didn’t get to see LeBron.
Michael Jordan played in all 82 games for eight out of his thirteen seasons (winning six NBA Championships). The record for consecutive NBA games played is 1,192 held by A.C. Green (who won three NBA titles).
There should be a balance between the players staying healthy and the fans being happy. We agree with the commentator who mentioned the players should spend a little time with the fans, showing appreciation for them. “We want LeBron” is not a chant we want to hear when we go to a Cavs game. Instead we like the sound of “MVP” ringing through the arena!