The comparison came when Love discussed the impact James’ decision to leave will have on the Cleveland Cavaliers:
“There’s a complete shift. “I think, Bron is, I said it in an interview, do you watch ‘Succession’ at all, on HBO? F–ing amazing. Anyway, they talk about the dad in the show, and they go ‘he’s not a person, he’s a planet.’ He just takes everything with him and shifts the paradigm and, like, that’s who Bron is. There’s so much attention, so much force, that him moving conferences does have that kind of effect, because it was always LeBron and the Cavs. Now there’s some semblance of parity and balance in the East, so people look at it like there’s maybe four, five, six teams who say ‘we can make some noise, it’s ours for the taking.’ Like Indiana, who looks really, really good.”
For a player that has been compared to a king for the entirety of his NBA career, raising the bar to a planet is a definite indicator of just how much Love respects the four-time MVP.
There is no doubt that the 2018-19 season will be filled with experiences and expectations that Cavs fans have not felt for quite some time. Instead of being near the top of the list when it comes to favorites to advance to the NBA Finals, most experts are listing the Cavs as dark horses to make the playoffs.
While those changing expectations may seem to be somewhat disappointing, there are also a lot of things to be excited for.
For Love, he will have the opportunity to truly lead a team for the first time since his days with the Minnesota Timberwolves. In the season prior to when he was traded to the Cavs, Love averaged 26.1 points, 12.5 rebounds, and 4.4 assists per game. Those are truly elite numbers by any metric.
Those numbers took a definite hit when he was traded to Cleveland and had to share the ball with not only James, but former Cavs point guard Kyrie Irving as well. Now, Love will get the opportunity to prove that he can be the focal point for an NBA team once again.
Aside from Love, James’ departure also gives other players opportunities to shine as well.
Second-year player Cedi Osman is probably the first name on that list. He will be tasked to replace James as the Cavs’ starting small forward, and while nobody expects him to fill the planet-sized void James has left in the lineup, Osman has shown glimpses that he could develop into a truly talented player.
Aside from that, Cavs rookie Collin Sexton will also get a chance to grow in a trial-by-fire scenario this season. The first-round draft pick from the University of Alabama showed a lot of promise this summer.
If James had decided to re-sign with the Cavs, it is likely that they would have used their 2018 first-round pick to trade for an established veteran. Instead, fans now get to watch Sexton progress into what they hope will be a premier NBA point guard.
With James’ departure comes a lot of uncertainty, but that doesn’t have to be a bad thing. Hopefully, Love, Osman, Sexton, and everyone else wearing the Wine and Gold this season can prove that there is much more to Cleveland basketball than just King James.