There is no Pat Riley in Cleveland. No basketball mind that understands culture and fit and an eye for talent, at least no mind that’s been apparent.
In Miami, LeBron won two titles and made four NBA Finals. But none came easy. The Heat one won title when it wasn’t the better team (2013; the Spurs let Miami wiggle free) and had to stage a rally against the aged Celtics to win the 2012 East Finals before dispatching the Thunder for the O’Brien Trophy.
The point is, winning big, winning championships, is hard in the NBA. Excruciatingly hard. Even when you’ve got the best player, and a great supporting cast, and a brilliant basketball mind calling the shots, and an owner with some class. LeBron had all those in four Miami seasons; he won two titles and was lucky to get that.
Now LeBron is in Cleveland, with no brilliant basketball mind. The weight of Lake Erie is again on LeBron’s broad shoulders. LeBron has brought redemption to Dan Gilbert. Now comes the hard part. Can LeBron bring his owner a clue?
Berry Tramel: Berry can be reached at (405) 760-8080 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. He can be heard Monday through Friday from 4:40-5:20 p.m. on The Sports Animal radio network, including FM-98.1. You can also view his personality page at newsok.com/berrytramel.