After LeBron James‘ first season back with the Cleveland Cavaliers, the team made a draft night deal to acquire the rights to international player Cedi Osman. Over the next two years, James likely paid little attention to Osman’s development overseas, but once the rookie joined the team this past season, the two bonded in such a way that James specifically looked for Osman when celebrating big moments.
After James signed a four-year free agent contract with the Los Angeles Lakers on Sunday, Osman took to Instagram to offer a gracious thank you to James for having taken him under his wing during the past season:
Some people bring out the worst in you, others bring out the best. And there are remarkably rare ones, who just bring out the most of everything that even you don’t know that you have. They build you up. They make you feel alive. They make you feel strong. They make you feel indisputable. From the first moment we met, you’ve always been that rare one for me, King. I don’t believe in coincidences. I choose to believe my path crossed with you for a reason. And that reason will be uncovered as I continue to walk through. Please accept my highest gratitude for your support and appreciation for your inspiration. I’m truly blessed to have been surrounded by your charm. Bazı insanlar doğanızdaki kötü tarafları ortaya çıkarır; bazıları ise içinizdeki iyiyi katlayarak yansıtmanızı sağlar. Ama bazı özel insanlar vardır ki, onların sayısı çok azdır, sahip olduğunuzun farkında bile olmadığınız yönlerinizi parlatmanızı sağlar. Sizi geliştirir, yaşadığınızı hissettirir ve güçlü olduğunuzu hatırlatır. Kral, ilk buluşmamızdan itibaren benim için eşsiz biri oldun. Biliyorum ve inaniyorum ki seninle yolumuz özel bir nedenle kesişti. Bu özel neden, hayatım boyunca benimle olmaya devam edecek. Verdiğin tüm destek için sana kalpten teşekkür ediyorum. Seninle geçirdiğim her dakika için minnetarım. Yolun açık olsun…
During that first year in the NBA, the 23-year-old Osman gave definite hints that he could develop into an effective player in the years ahead. While he only averaged 3.9 points and 2.0 rebounds per game in his 61 regular-season contests, he gave no hint that he was overmatched. He got the start in 12 of those contests when injuries depleted the team’s depth and scored in double figures in seven games over the course of the year. Yet, he saw limited action during the postseason.
Both Osman and the Cavaliers are hoping that those lessons learned from frequent interactions with James will translate into even stronger performances next season. Given the gaping hole left by James’ departure, Cavs head coach Tyronn Lue is likely to rely more on Osman during his sophomore campaign.