LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Paul call themselves “The Brotherhood,” Bleacher Report’s Howard Beck revealed in a fascinating story on James’ and Anthony’s friendship.
James and Anthony met in high school when they were two teenage, high school basketball phenoms. They were taken in the same draft, along with Wade, while Paul was taken two years later. They all remain very close friends.
And they have fantasized about playing together, one day, in the NBA. James told Beck:
“I really hope that, before our career is over, we can all play together At least one, maybe one or two seasons — me, Melo, D-Wade, CP — we can get a year in. I would actually take a pay cut to do that. … It would be pretty cool. I’ve definitely had thoughts about it.”
James’ new super-team idea quickly gained traction, tantalising the NBA world with the thought of some of the best players of this generation teaming up. Unfortunately for James, the idea was shot down pretty quickly.
As SB Nation’s Yaron Weitzman and Mike Prada detailed, for four players to join up, it would require several blockbuster trades — like Kevin Love for Carmelo Anthony and Kyrie Irving for Chris Paul. Then, it would require major pay cuts, and a massive clearing of the books for the Cavaliers. Some of it could be done as players hit free agency, but the Cavs would also have to trade players like Iman Shumpert and Channing Frye while also not taking back money. It would be complicated, but it’s doable, so long as they could get everyone to take paycuts and find teams willing to take on Shumpert and Frye, which perhaps could be a stretch in itself.
But when asked about it, neither Wade or Anthony seemed to express the same optimism, according to ESPN’s Dave McMenamin.
“I don’t know, man,” Wade said. “Yeah, I heard it. I read it. I’m not really jumping into the headlines right now. For me, I’m focused on my teammates in here. As cool as the headlines is, that has nothing to do with what we’re trying to do in here.”
He added, “Don’t put me in it. I ain’t jumping in that. Don’t put me in that right now. I’m not answering that question about what we talked about.”
Anthony was slightly more optimistic, though he referred to the idea as a “fantasy,” which doesn’t express great faith in the idea.
“I don’t know. We’ve still got years in this league, so we’ll see what happens. Everybody dreams sometimes. Everybody has fantasies. We all have those [thoughts].”
“I’d take a pay cut if it happens. I think we all would have to take a pay cut. …I think by that time [in your career], you want to go somewhere warm/ By that time. That’s later. That would be later — retirement. … I’m just adding fuel to the fire.”
But as McMenamin noted, Anthony, during an ESPN interview during the Knicks-Bulls game Wednesday night, expressed his desire to stay in New York and build a winning team.
It’s not out of the realm of possibility, though it would require cap gymnastics, sacrifice from all four players, and a willingness from other teams to help make the situation happen. It can’t be ruled out, but unfortunately for James, it seems few others share his optimism.
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