Brandon Jennings is not on the same page with LeBron James.
When LeBron signed with the Heat, Jennings criticized the move and said, “I guess in three years, me, Tyreke Evans, and Stephen Curry should team up, too.” Jennings has mocked LeBron’s hairline. He tried to tweak LeBron’s Heat by predicting a playoff upset (“Bucks in 6”). Jennings called out LeBron for leaving Game 1 of last year’s Finals with cramps.
Jennings – out for the season – has plenty of time to criticize LeBron even more. To be fair, the Pistons guard also made a point of praising LeBron.
Did LeBron run when s— got tough? Yeah, he did. He left Cleveland for a better situation in Miami and then Miami for a better situation in Cleveland. I don’t believe LeBron jumped only because he was joining better-positioned teams, but I believe it factored both times.
So what, though?
That’s what free agency does. It gives players the right to choose their workplace, and LeBron is at the level where could choose any team. I don’t consider that a bad thing.
Jennings is right: LeBron is one of the greatest of all time. Just like the other players Jennings mentioned – Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, Larry Bird and Kobe Bryant. How many times LeBron changed teams doesn’t mean much to me when ranking this group, and it’s an unfair standard. Who’s to say LeBron wouldn’t have stayed with one team in the others’ positions or they wouldn’t have left if they were in LeBron’s?
It’s easier to be loyal to Bulls, Lakers and Celtics franchises that built contending supporting casts through each of those players’ primes. The only exception was a blip in Kobe’s career – and he threatened to leave in free agency.
The Cavaliers never got the right pieces around LeBron the first time, and the Heat were aging fast. So, having earned the opportunity to do so, LeBron left for greener pastures.
Jennings and I don’t disagree on what happened, just how to interpret it.