KD make waves yesterday commenting on playing with LeBron. It is obvious playing next to him creates a lot of pressure, both internal and external. If the team wins, LeBron gets the praise; if they lose, his supporting cast is to blame. It’s an ungrateful position to be in. Then, there is the occasional subtweet from LeBron if you are not doing things the way he sees fit.
The topic intrigued the crew on The Jump, so they gave their two cents. Chris Bosh simply stated that every time you play with a superstar, you would need to adjust your game, and he would know from his time in Miami. Bosh was the clear no.1 option on the Raptors and then became the third guy behind LeBron and Wade. LeBron brings pressure, but he also brings rings within reach.
This is where T-Mac made an insightful point; something KD also implied through his examples of Love and Bosh: it’s the third guy that has to change the most. Wade and Kyrie still had a lot of control, initiative, and freedom to play their game. The third guy is the one that bares most of the load regarding having a diminished role and the system being developed around LeBron and guy no.2 and then it’s on you to see how you fit within that system.
Therefore, KD’s hypothesis that a superstar like Kawhi wouldn’t make sense next to LeBron doesn’t hold water. Kawhi would be the Wade/Kyrie in this story, and he wouldn’t have to defer as much. Now, as we saw Kyrie leave, there is the fact that the best of the best probably want to be the clear no.1 and next to LeBron, that ain’t happening. That’s why KD’s comments are indicative of his ideas for the upcoming summer. If KD is to be consistent with his words (not always the case, but let’s go for it), he isn’t joining the Lakers. Also, he is not the clear no.1 next to Steph. Quite the opposite, all this injury has shown us that the Warriors are still at their best when Steph is running the show.
So if we generalize KD’s formula it would mean a superstar will always want to be the clear no.1 guy, the superstar “enjoys having the ball in his hands, controlling the offense, dictating the tempo with his post-ups; it’s how he plays the game. A lot of young players are developing that skill. They don’t need another guy.” This would have several logical implications.
First, KD isn’t a superstar. Joining the Warriors, he did the complete opposite of what he said. Just saying, that’s his logic, not mine!
Second, KD will leave the Warriors. If he is to practice what he preaches, the Clippers or the Knicks make the most sense, as he is likely to want to build a narrative. Competing with LeBron to see who is the King of LA or going to NYC and bringing a title to the biggest market in the NBA.
Once again, that’s not me; those are his words and logic.