LeBron James is excited to play with Isaiah Thomas. Without Thomas healthy, James has a crazy amount of responsibility on the court. James talked to Howard Beck of Bleacher Report about what Thomas’ presence will mean to the Cavs:
James is loathe to place that burden on Thomas (“We can’t rely on just one person.”). Yet he knows, better than anyone, how badly he needs him.
“It’s been a while since I’ve had that clear-cut guy who can get guys involved but also score at the same time,” James told B/R Mag. “But it’s fine. It’s something that our team will make an adjustment to.”
The workload is OK, James insisted. He’s not worried about wearing down, even in this, his 15th season. But he noted, “I look forward to when IT returns, whenever that happens, to give me a break here and there, where I know he can run the offense and control a quarter or two, or a game if need be.”
When I saw this quote – specifically, the “it’s been a while” part – my first thought was: “Whoa, that’s a pretty major shot at Kyrie Irving. After reading the context of it, though, I’m not sure that’s how James meant it. It’s hard to tell whether he was saying it’s been a while, like, since Miami with prime Dwyane Wade, or it’s been a while like since last season, since this season has been so difficult without having a secondary ball-handler next to him. Honestly, knowing LeBron, it’s probably the former. He’s king of the pettiness and subtweets.