Rest of NBA Should Be Grateful LeBron Has Subpar Supporting Cast

Matt Petersen@@TheMattPetersenCorrespondent IMay 25, 2009

CLEVELAND - MAY 22:  LeBron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers winces in pain on the sidelines during Game Two of the Eastern Conference Finals against the Orlando Magic during the 2009 Playoffs at Quicken Loans Arena on May 22, 2009 in Cleveland, Ohio. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement  (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

Have you ever watched a movie where the star actor outshines the rest of the cast to the point that it emphasizes the actor's own brilliance, while simultaneously revealing the relative incompetence of everyone else in the picture?

Consider LeBron James the Tom Cruise of any of his latest flicks.

Fortunately for the other 29 teams in the NBA, Lebron's teammates are the only thing keeping the Cavs at contender status rather than a team on the verge of a dynasty.

In all fairness, the rest of the Cavs have overachieved this season. That's largely thanks to LeBron. His passing, camaraderie, and passion inspired them to produce a sum greater than the parts.

Despite all this, the Cavs are only good enough to barely trail the Orlando Magic 2-1 (and almost 3-0) in the Eastern Conference finals. If LeBron swapped supporting casts with rival alpha dog Kobe Bryant, Cleveland would be up 3-0. Easily.

If and when LeBron does get that kind of supporting cast, it will be 99 percent impossible to keep such a team from running away with multiple championships. It'll be like Jordan's last six full seasons with the Bulls, when he went 6-for-6 in playing for the NBA title. There won't be any doubt that it'll happen, just how long he and his team will take in doing it.

When that day comes, the rest of the league will be in a constant state of depression. There will be another slew of Stockons, Malones, Ewings and Barkleys: players who with their teams would be more than talented enough to win a championship in any other era, but had the rotten luck of playing at the same time as the greatest of their day.

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Given the caliber players that have entered (Howard, Wade, Bosh, 'Melo, Paul, Roy) or are on their way (Rondo, Rose, Durant, Granger) to super stardom, it's not hard to see the NBA entering another golden age.

If James finds a consistent and competent supporting cast in Cleveland or elsewhere, though, he'll leave everyone else looking for a silver lining.


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