Opinion: LeBron, D-Wade reunion comes at the perfect time

Jack Kopanski

From 2010-14, the world watched as LeBron James was the villain of the sports world as a member of the Miami Heat.

Joining forces with his friends Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, the Heat ran through the league to four straight NBA Finals appearances, with back-to-back championships in 2012 and 2013. It seemed to be the perfect combination of raw talent and chemistry among some of the league’s top players.

With the announcement Tuesday that Wade would this time be joining James in Cleveland for the 2017-18 season, that chemistry will once again be on display for the league to enjoy.

Wade is definitely not where he once was from a talent standpoint, which is something expected to come with age. But once newcomer Isaiah Thomas heals up, the talent will be there when combined with James and Kevin Love.

Barring any kind of bizarre happenings, Cleveland is already on a collision course to meet the Golden State Warriors in their fourth straight NBA Finals matchup. After the Warriors’ addition of Kevin Durant last offseason, it was painfully clear the Cleveland Cavaliers needed to still do more if they were to compete with the “Big Four.”

I’m not sitting here saying Wade is going to find the fountain of youth in Cleveland and run roughshod over the league, but having someone like Wade on the team will undoubtedly allow James to have more fun on the court. And we all know that a LeBron who is having fun is a dangerous one. 

Looking (way) forward, this move, combined with James’ reiteration that he intends to finish out his career in Cleveland, puts the Cavaliers one — albeit small — step closer to forming the infamous “Team Banana Boat” of James, Wade, Carmelo Anthony and Chris Paul. (It’s not gonna happen, I know, but it’s fun to dream.) 

Concerns about Wade’s health are warranted, but so long as he is healthy come playoff time, which proper rest should allow for, his presence will add an invaluable piece. In 13 years, he has only missed the playoffs twice. In high pressure situations like the playoffs, there is no substitute for experience.

The moves can’t stop here for Cleveland, though. While they have gained a significant amount of depth this offseason, numerous question marks still surround bench players such as Iman Shumpert and Richard Jefferson. It will be interesting to watch and see if first-time Cavaliers general manager Koby Altman can continue his run of early success with Cleveland.

Despite the recent winning culture that has developed around the Cavaliers, basketball has never been and still isn’t my number one sport to watch. With the collective moves made this offseason, not only by the Cavs but the whole league, this season has my attention and excitement now.

Jack Kopanski is a columnist, contact him at [email protected].