This is your own goddamn fault LeBron.
You’re the one who chose the coach. You’re the the one who fired the great basketball mind because you didn’t like him personally and replaced him, on a team with championship aspirations, with someone who had never been a head coach at any level. Ty Lue’s mistakes are your mistakes. His choice to play Channing Frye in crunch time over Kevin Love is on you.
You’re the one who traded for Kevin Love and then spent two years undermining his confidence and turning him into a glorified Anthony Morrow. Here’s a thought: if you don’t want to play with another power forward, then don’t trade for one. Here’s another: if you don’t want to play with defensive liabilities, don’t enable them by playing lazy defense yourself.
And before you get ahead of yourself, no, don’t blame him for ruining the chemistry or any LeBron nonsense like that. He didn’t lose you Game 4. He had a lower +/- than any Cavalier starter. He played some of the best defense of his life. He sacrificed for his team by willingly coming off of the bench, passing up shots and hell, even returning last year despite how inhospitable you made the environment.
You’re the one who handpicked the supporting cast. J.R. Smith and Iman Shumpert, 4-15 from the field in Game 4. 18-44 For the series! Stellar work! How’s that four-year Shumpert deal you insisted on looking right about now? But on the bright side, James Jones has given you 16 hard-fought garbage time minutes. Roster spot well spent.
And worst of all? You encouraged Kyrie Irving to play this way. You welcomed him into your entourage, you matched his isolations with plenty of your own, you even wrote about him in your increasingly pessimistic letter. If you really wanted him to play team basketball he would. Or if he wouldn’t, you’d make damn sure that he’d be the one on his way out, not Kevin Love. But you picked the wrong horse and it’s going to cost you this championship, and maybe more.
This is why Miami never turned you loose on the other aspects of its organization, and probably why you left. Pat Riley warned you about this. Erik Spoelstra held you accountable. You didn’t like that, because apparently two championships mean less if they aren’t won your way. Miami didn’t want to play ball because they had more sense than that. That you don’t is becoming more and more apparent by the day.
So I want to make this clear, because when you lose Game 5 on Monday I can only imagine there will be subtweets galore. This did not happen because Cleveland wasn’t committed to putting a winner on the floor. This did not happen because they failed you as an organization, or that your teammates weren’t talented enough.
You did this to yourself. This is your own fault. And if you want to have any chance of preventing it from happening again next year, and the year after, and so on until you retire without bringing Cleveland a championship, you’ll stick to playing basketball and let the rest of the team do their goddamn jobs.