Mario Chalmers was the Heat’s starting point guard for the past three seasons, but playing alongside the game’s best player was often times no easy task.
LeBron James isn’t known for being a bad teammate, or as someone who would needlessly criticize his fellow players, especially on the court for all eyes to see. But Chalmers seemed to be the exception, drawing the ire of both James and Dwyane Wade publicly on many, many occasions.
No one on the Heat roster wanted to see LeBron leave, of course, but for Chalmers in particular, there may be a slight bit of relief associated with his departure. And in much the same way Chris Bosh had words for Kevin Love in his new role with James, Chalmers said that Kyrie Irving would need to adjust to the way James communicates at times.
James was hard on his former point guard because he’s a point guard at heart and understands how the position should be played.
Nevertheless, Chalmers seems relieved that it’s now Kyrie Irving’s problem.
“LeBron is a dominant player so if he feels like something is not going his way, he’s going to say something about it,” Chalmers told Northeast Ohio Media Group. “For Kyrie, he’s going to have to adjust to that and LeBron is going to have to adjust to Kyrie. It’s going to be a different factor for Kyrie.”
The difference in the way James talks to Irving will likely be as great as the difference in abilities between his former point guard and his current one; Irving is a legitimate All-Star talent, whereas Chalmers would best be described as a serviceable one.
There will be pressure on Irving now that he has James and Love to feed offensively, and things will be different for LeBron as well, who should theoretically be shouldering a lot less of the point guard duties now that the ball will spend plenty of time in Irving’s capable hands.
Chalmers can only speak from his own experience. But it’s much more plausible that LeBron would get upset with the shot selection of Dion Waiters long before he feels the need to lash out at his new point guard.