LeBron James was called to Cleveland Cavaliers general manager David Griffin’s office for comments he made about wanting to form a star alliance with good friends Carmelo Anthony, Chris Paul and Dwyane Wade.
The four friends have talked about the possibility of teaming up since playing together in the Olympics but with James and Paul earning maximum salaries and Anthony and Wade signed in the past two years for hefty money, reality might never match the dream team take. James can become a free agent at the end of this season, as can Wade.
“I really hope that, before our career is over, we can all play together. … At least one, maybe one or two seasons — me, Melo, D-Wade, CP — we can get a year in,” James told Bleacher Report in February for a story published Wednesday. “I would actually take a pay cut to do that.”
James said Wednesday the four have had “plenty of conversations” over the 15 years they’ve known each other.
But Cleveland.com reported Griffin made a point to have an audience with James over the comments. That came after coach Tyronn Lue had to sit James down to discuss why he spent a portion of halftime – with the Cavaliers trailing by 21 – chatting with Wade.
“We can’t have that, being down like we were and him being the leader,” Lue said. “Just me being a competitor, I didn’t like it. We had a long talk about it. It was good. He understood, he apologized, and he’s been great.”
Anthony termed the union a “fantasy” but said it was fair to dream.
All four players are in their 30s. For the stars to align, financial sacrifices might only be the beginning. The Cavaliers have two other massive contracts – point guard Kyrie Irving and forward Kevin Love – to consider.
“Don’t put me in it,” Wade said. “I ain’t jumping in that. Don’t put me in that right now. I’m not answering that question about what we talked about.”
The scenario played out once before with Wade and James, who toured NBA cities such as Chicago and Los Angeles only to team up in Miami with Chris Bosh to form a “Big Three” that went to the NBA Finals four consecutive seasons. James announced he was leaving Cleveland in the nationally televised “Decision” in July 2010.
He penned a heartfelt letter five years later with Phil Taylor of Sports Illustrated to announce he was “Coming Home” to Ohio.
But James has intentionally set up his contract options to go year-to-year, maximizing his earnings while keeping open exit strategies should the opportunity to team with fellow All-Stars ever become reality.