LeBron has a way of overshadowing his teammates.
Is the NBA the most star-driven of America’s major sports leagues? It certainly seems that way.
One spectacular player can change a basketball team’s fortunes so quickly that lower-rung teams are often criticized for “tanking” — that is, losing games on purpose — in order to get a better shot at selecting a marquee name in the next year’s draft. It’s become such an issue that the league has introduced a new lottery system which will flatten the odds of the three worst teams, and instead give the fourth a chance at the top pick.
Nowhere else is the power of a marquee name more evident than with the Cleveland Cavaliers. The team would face an uncertain future if the league’s best player, LeBron James, left the team after its current playoff run.
The ever-churning NBA rumor mill has suggested James will leave the “The Land” and go west to Los Angeles, San Antonio, or Houston next year.
The May 5 episode of “Saturday Night Live” was scheduled to include a hilarious take on James’ teammates in Cleveland, but the sketch was cut for time before surfacing online the next day. The sketch stars host Donald Glover and SNL regulars Kenan Thompson, Heidi Gardner, and Pete Davidson as the “Other Cavaliers.”
In the sketch, James’ teammates boast they can handle anything he needs, “as long what he needs isn’t basketball.”
On the court, the Other Cavaliers feature a 53-year-old father of seven, a Roomba, a golden retriever, and the first chain-smoking female player in NBA history.
Off the court, James’ teammates are happy to massage his neck, get his laundry, and hold his cell phones.
If the sketch made the show it would have been perfect timing. Earlier on May 5, James led his teammates to a playoff victory over the Toronto Raptors.
James finished with 38 points, six rebounds, and seven assists, but he couldn’t have done it without the Other Cavaliers: Kevin Love scored 21 points and Kyle Korver added 18.