The Cleveland Cavaliers struck the jackpot this summer, landing LeBron James and Kevin Love to pair with All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving. This will form a new Big Three in the NBA and make the Cavs an immediate championship contender.
However, much like when James joined the Miami Heat, it will take a while to build chemistry between his fellow All-Stars. As James said in his letter announcing his return, he expects a learning curve this time.
Unfortunately for him, James hasn’t had much of an opportunity to speak with Irving. James has been traveling and Irving is focused on the FIBA World Cup. RealGM.com reports that the two haven’t had a chance to work together or even talk about next season.
James has traveled the world for training and promotional events, and Irving’s committed to Team USA, so dialogue hasn’t progressed about ways they’ll blend on the court next season. After the FIBA games, Irving plans to exchange more calls and texts with James and engage in workouts together. They’ll need a quick course in chemistry, because an NBA title could be had out of the Eastern Conference, not just a retooling year.
In his first season in Miami, James teamed up with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh to create a power trio that made it all the way to the NBA Finals despite obvious chemistry concerns.
Issues like who will get the ball on the final shot, lead the fast break or initiate the offense will have to be worked out. That can all be talked through.
Things like timing, knowing tendencies and building trust will take some time.
James played with Irving some during the NBA All-Star break, but doesn’t appear to have nearly the same relationship as he had with peers Wade and Bosh before joining them. James enters this big three as more of a veteran presence than contemporary. It will be a learning process for him, too.