"LeBron Ruined Basketball": Former Teammate Iman Shumpert


"LeBron knows he ruined basketball. He thought he was making it better." Those are the words of LeBron James' former Cleveland Cavaliers teammate and fellow 2016 NBA champ Iman Shumpert. 

Appearing on the Bootleg Kev podcast, Shumpert was referring to the moment in 2010 when King James made the decision to leave his throne atop the perennial finalist Cavs and "take his talents to South Beach" to join forces with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh.

When he was asked if Kevin Durant "ruined basketball" by pulling the "if you can't beat 'em, join 'em" move of signing up with the Golden State Warriors to form a superteam, Shumpert responded with:

It wasn’t KD. It was LeBron first going to Miami. LeBron knows he ruined basketball. He thought he was making it better. Me personally, I loved the NBA for the loyalty that I thought was there. He basically knocked the fourth wall down.

That "fourth wall", referring to the "player empowerment" era. Shumpert continued: "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.”

He responded on Twitter to the claims that there were many "superteams" before those Miami Heat.

The difference, of course, is that the LeBron-Wade-Bosh move was actually players leaving a good situation and teaming up elsewhere, rather than a team being built through trade. "Find me the year the top player left his throne and joined someone else?" asked Shumpert. "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."

And there's undoubtedly many LeBron supporters that will be happy to join in that debate.