Adding Dwyane Wade to the roster for the Cleveland Cavaliers felt like an inevitability from the outside. Wade, a favorite of star LeBron James, was bought out by the Chicago Bulls in September and needed a place to land.
The Cavaliers wound up being that spot, despite rumblings of a return for Wade to the Miami Heat. On the part of Cleveland, that meant emptying a roster spot for the aging star. Richard Jefferson, an aged star in his own right, was let go to make room for Wade.
That pleased LeBron, but apparently some in the Cavaliers locker room didn’t feel the same way.
According to an interview over at The Athletic, LeBron said he knew some in the locker room lamented the loss of Jefferson. The King knew it was his realm to rule, obviously, and so they’ve just sort of run with it.
Via Yahoo! Sports:
“There was a couple guys with it,” James said. “But it wasn’t a lot.”
The fact Wade wasn’t openly embraced bothered James.
“I still know what he’s capable of doing. Why wouldn’t you want another guy in the locker room that brings a championship mentality and a guy who can still play?” James said. “So, of course, it bothered me, but f*** it. It is what it is.”
Wade himself seemed to feel some of the social pressure saying, “Bron asked me to come here, I talked to Ty Lue, he didn’t say he didn’t want me here, so I decided to come.”
It makes sense that we’re getting rumblings of locker room misgivings in Cleveland given how they started the season. The first stretch of the year was a little rough, and while many were quick to say that they always start slow, it did feel a little different. We’re talking about a team that has a 35-year-old Wade, no Kyrie Irving, an injured Tristan Thompson, and the hope that guys like Kyle Korver would better assimilate into a full season.
Cleveland has leveled out a little bit, and are solidly in third place in the Eastern Conference. Thompson should return soon, and guys like Korver have played better. Isaiah Thomas will be back in December — the team hopes — and no doubt we will be seeing LeBron and Wade in the playoffs.
Let’s hope they can all get along until June rolls around.