LeBron James: Cavs having only one All-Star a ‘kick in the rear end’
LeBron James not surprisingly was voted in as a starter for the 2016 NBA All-Star Game. But he believes the fact that he is the only member of the Cleveland Cavaliers who will represent the team in next month in Toronto should be taken as a reminder of how much work lies ahead for the team, despite being the current top dog in the Eastern Conference.
With Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving being passed up, James wants his two teammates to be motivated by missing out on the festivities.
“It’s definitely a kick in the rear end for our team for sure, knowing all the work we put into it, and knowing the two other guys,” James said ahead of Friday’s shootaround, via Cleveland.com. “You know, Kyrie’s games being limited like that I figured the coaches wouldn’t give him the nod, but you know he’s an All-Star. And then with Kev, I think Kev has played great basketball for the first half of the season. He could’ve been awarded, but hopefully those guys use it as motivation for the rest of the season and the team will as well.”
As James alluded to, Irving’s bid for an All-Star berth was in large part a long shot due to limited games played (18) and uneven play when he has been on the court as he attempts to work himself back into form after not appearing in a game until Dec. 20.
Love, who has appeared in all 44 of the Cavaliers games, has experienced inconsistencies in his game just like Irving. His points and rebounds per game are below his career averages and his inability to get into the flow of the Cavaliers offense resembles his struggles last season.
But Love says he understands why he wasn’t named an All-Star, saying, “I think there’s a lot of good players in the East.”
It remains to be seen if the change from David Blatt to Tyronn Lue and a new offensive philosophy will help Irving and Love work things out and establish more consistent games.
And as James sees it, getting “snubbed” as an All-Star should motivate them to go out and do it.