Mario Chalmers is a solid NBA player, and was certainly influential to the Miami Heat’s unprecedented success over the past four seasons. But casual fans don’t know the University of Kansas product for his quick hands, clutch shooting, or oft questionable decision-making. Instead, they see Chalmers as the internet meme he so quickly became during his time playing with LeBron James – as The King’s on-court whipping boy.
You know what we’re talking about by now. If President Barack Obama is aware of the derision Chalmers received from James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh in the last few years, passive NBA fans are, too.
Chalmers was a good sport about the President’s ribbing, and rarely reacted adversely to “guidance” from the Heat’s Big Three on the court, too. That hardly means he’s not glad to be rid of at least one source of so much criticism, though. Come on, wouldn’t be you be thrilled to know this response won’t be one you’ll receive going forward?
In a story by Northeast Ohio Media Group’s Chris Haynes, Chalmers says that Cleveland Cavaliers point guard Kyrie Irving will need to get used to James’ sometime contentious style of leadership.
“LeBron is a dominant player so if he feels like something is not going his way, he’s going to say something about it,” Chalmers told Northeast Ohio Media Group. “For Kyrie, he’s going to have to adjust to that and LeBron is going to have to adjust to Kyrie. It’s going to be a different factor for Kyrie.”
Well, that’s true to an extent. LeBron is indeed a dominant player, and certainly cerebral enough to wield on-court strategic influence. It’s no accident that he learned all five spots of David Blatt’s complicated offense after just a few days of training camp.
But Chalmers isn’t Irving. There’s a reason why James recently said that it’s Kyrie who will be running the show in Cleveland – he’s never played with a point guard close to this talented before. It’s fair to say that LeBron will afford Irving latitude that he never did Chalmers, and rightfully so.
And it’s not like James is some notoriously gruff drill sergeant, either – the GIF above is the only time in four seasons The King reacted to ‘Rio with such hostility. Imagine if Chalmers had played with Michael Jordan or was a teammate of Kobe Bryant. Do you think he’d consider LeBron’s advice so aggressive? Us neither.
The fact is that Chalmers needs to be reined-in sometimes, and James was the man most equipped to do so on the floor for Miami. Will Kyrie have to adjust to a power like LeBron? Of course. But we highly doubt James will deem it necessary to chastise his new point guard the way he did his old one, too.
What do you think?
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