Colin has historically taken LeBron’s side throughout the King’s career. When the entire world was burning his jersey and bashing him for leaving the Cavs in favor of taking his talents to South Beach, Colin defended the move. When he left Miami to head back to Cleveland, Colin supported that, too.
He has also pushed back against James’s critics, who he believes have held him to an impossible standard, and have overlooked his greatness in favor nitpicking miniscule imperfections in his game.
Today, however, Colin has found one area where he and James don’t see eye to eye.
Last night, the Cavs suffered their fifth loss in seven games, losing 124-122 to an undermanned Pelicans’ team without Anthony Davis. It’s only January, but James was pissed.
Following the game, he let loose to a small group of reporters – off camera – about his frustrations about the Cavs team, as currently constructed.
“We’re not better than last year, from a personnel standpoint,” James said.
He also voiced his displeasure that the Cavs lack playmakers after him, Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving.
“It’s like when you don’t have bodies. It’s tough,” James said. “The f—ing grind of the regular season. We’re a top-heavy team. We have a top-heavy team. We top-heavy as s—. It’s me, [Irving], [Love]. It’s top-heavy.”
He added, “I’m not singling out anybody. I’m not. Yeah, we won [the NBA championship], but f—, you know what, let’s see if we can do something.”
Today in The Herd, Colin said that James comments are off-base because it’s impossible for NBA organizations to put together a deep team when the stars’ salaries eat up a majority of the cap space. It’s the reality of the modern NBA.
The only way to put together a deep team is for the top players to take a pay cut. If the players aren’t willing, then that’s their problem. Considering the amount of endorsements NBA players make, it wouldn’t be that big of a hit.
You’re rolling $42 million large a year on endorsements. When you get paid for every shoe that’s purchased in Akron to Alabama, to the Alleghenies, and you won’t take a slight pay cut to have a good power forward off the pine? That is on you.”
Colin cited Tom Brady as an athlete, with significantly less income from endorsements, who has repeatedly taken less money to give the Patriots more flexibility to spend on his supporting cast. It’s not unheard of in salary cap sports, only in the NBA.
“I am mister pro-player mobility. I supported LeBron and KD, but I don’t wanna hear about your bench, because you guys make more money on shoes than Brady makes on beating the Steelers. Take a little less.”
It is only January, and despite their rough stretch, the Cavs are still the odds-on favorite to represent the Eastern Conference in the NBA Finals. In the long term, however, LeBron has to decide if he wants to max-out his paychecks like Kobe and D-Wade, or give up a little cash and surround himself with a better team like Brady.
In the modern NBA, you can’t do both.
You can't complain about your bench, LeBron pic.twitter.com/qeYZWFU1oy
— Herd w/Colin Cowherd (@TheHerd) January 24, 2017