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(Video Credit: Bootleg Kev)
LeBron James former teammate Iman Shumpert proclaimed on The Bootleg Kev Podcast that the basketball legend “ruined basketball” when he joined the Miami Heat in 2010 due to his habit of cherry-picking teammates and home teams in what appears to be calculated business moves.
“It was Bron going to Miami. Bron knows he ruined basketball,” declared Shumpert while discussing whether Kevin Durant joining the Golden State Warriors ruined basketball. “He thought he was making it better, I get it.”
Shumpert joined the podcast to discuss his recent “Dancing with the Stars” championship and several other topics.
Shumpert, now 31, and James were teammates in Cleveland for three seasons which included the Cavaliers’ 2016 championship. He contends that when LeBron James decided to take his talents to South Beach it irrevocably changed the game. He played four seasons with the Heat.
“Me personally, I loved the NBA for the loyalty that I thought was there. He basically knocked the fourth wall down,” asserted Shumpert referring to James’ lack of loyalty. “Great business move for sure. But when you think about it outside looking in, I got people tweeting me right now, they’re literally talking about owners and trade.”
Shumpert played in the NBA in 2019. He was a 39 percent shooter.
The debate over “superteams” in the NBA has raged on for the last 20 years or so. Basketball fans are not thrilled with the thought of superstar players ditching their original teams to somehow create a superteam that is a winning machine. James has been a central figure in that argument.
When LeBron James left Cleveland for the Heat, it was a big deal. He won a couple of titles in Miami playing alongside Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade. Shumpert contends that was just the beginning of James’ business calculations.
Social media got fired up over the allegation and users started questioning Shumpert’s take that James started “superteams” according to Fox News.
“Find me the year the top player left his throne and joined someone else,” tweeted Shumpert in response to his detractors. “Closest thing was Shaq but Bigs have to pair up and Kobe was the juice. Bron had no need and had all the influence. I can debate this all day.”
Find me the year the top player left his throne and joined someone else? Closest thing was Shaq but Bigs have to pair up and Kobe was the juice. Bron had no need and had all the influence. I can debate this all day. https://t.co/gjQKSNLBpw
— Iman. (@imanshumpert) December 21, 2021
After another person on Twitter pointed out that James helped Shumpert win a ring, he shot back, “You saw the clip and not the convo. LeBron changed the way teams are built forever. Check the length of these contracts.”
You saw the clip and not the convo. LeBron changed the way teams are built forever. Check the length of these contracts https://t.co/1q9Q3gOgM5
— Iman. (@imanshumpert) December 21, 2021
Many contend that it’s not unreasonable to say that LeBron James was the turning point for the league when it came to loyalty and “superteams.” The sense of loyalty to one franchise was certainly paramount in the league before James started picking and choosing. In the end, he wanted to win and make bank. James has certainly done that.
Shumpert would go on in the interview to discuss James’ tendency to flop to draw a foul.
“The worst thing we had against LeBron was like, ‘Bro, why you flopping?’” Shumpert commented. “And literally, he started flopping cause he like, ‘Bro, I gotta get these free throws if these people getting free throws.’ He like, ‘Bro, I’m really getting hit.’ So he like, ‘Ah, I’ll sell it for you cause they can’t see it cause I’m so strong. Y’all can’t see me getting fouled.’”
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