LeBron James has ushered in the player-empowerment era, usurping control from ownership and management.
But it’s not just LeBron vs. Dan Gilbert or LeBron vs. Riley.
When leaving the Heat for the Cavaliers in 2014, LeBron left teammates in the dark, teammates who wanted to stick together. There were hard feelings. Though Chris Bosh indicated his bitterness at the time, he really opened up about the situation recently – from how he found out to how he reacted.
Bosh on “All the Smoke”:
Through a text. I thought he was BSing, and then about 10 minutes later, it’s everywhere.
I understand it. I get it. At the time, I didn’t understand it. At the time, in my mind, I was ready to put the team back together because we had just lost. So, we wanted to put something back together so we could win. And it really didn’t go like that.
I took offense to it, to be honest with you, at first. I was only thinking of how I felt about it. And me and Bron talked about it. But I’m a competitor, and to be honest with you, s—t, when you go back to the locker room and Bron ain’t in that chair, and then everybody is kind of looking at you for that 25 points and looking at D for that 25 points, it’s like, “Damn man. S—, my knee hurts.” But we really did realize how special of a player he was. But at that time, I was – I’m super competitive.
I was upset. It still worked out for everybody. But I was upset, and it took some time to get over it. I want to say it took months to get over it. Me and – we had to be in the same place and talk about it. Nothing deep, but just talk and get back to the good terms and get back to where we were. I’m glad we did. It was tough to deal with.
Obviously, LeBron had a right to pick his team in free agency. Bosh certainly respected that on a certain level.
But it’s difficult to split with teammates after spending years working closely together in pursuit of a goal. Some bitterness is only natural.
Bosh also faced contract complications in the wake of LeBron’s decision. However, at least Bosh got a max contract from the Heat. LeBron did alright for himself, too, after moving on.
And it’s nice that LeBron and Bosh reconciled. If Dwyane Wade – who was closer with LeBron – could get over LeBron editing his coming-home essay while on a flight with an unknowing Wade, Bosh could quash his differences with LeBron, too.
But this is an illuminating look into the inter-player effects of increasingly common star movement.