Former Cavs Player Details How Much Of A Hassle LeBron Was As A Teammate

When LeBron James played for the Cavaliers from 2014-18, he had an ultra-successful run on the court. The team reached the Finals all four years and won a title in 2016.

But all was not always well in the locker room and huddle, according to Larry Sanders, who made a brief run with the team during that era.

“The team had so many issues,” Sanders told Forbes. “There were a lot of internal issues. We didn’t know if LeBron and Kyrie Irving were leaving. They had the scuffle on the bench between LeBron and Tristan Thompson.”

That was seemingly just the half of it.

Back then, James’ teammates indicated that playing alongside him was no piece of cake. James often rode Irving and forward Kevin Love — though many believed it was James just pushing them to be better.

One time during the 2015-16 season, James was in the locker room and a reporter asked how he was able to avoid injuries, despite taking nightly beatings. He answered, “Some guys just have a higher threshold for pain than others.” He looked in the direction of the oft-injured Irving and Love as he answered.

Love also once joked that he and Irving often took turns being the target of James’ harshest criticism. “This week is my week,” Love said at the time, smiling.

Irving demanded a trade following the 2018 season, getting shipped to Boston after he reportedly threatened to sit out the year. Many believed the reason was because Irving wanted to get away from James.

“There was a lot of stuff going on internally,” Sanders told Forbes. “I remember being in the midst of it, and I’m like the seventh, eighth or ninth project they have. I don’t think they knew what to do with anybody.”

James left for the Los Angeles Lakers after the 2018 season — the second time he bolted the franchise in free agency. The Cavs have been horrible since, just like the first time.

Follow Sam Amico on Twitter @FortyEightMins

Written by Sam Amico

Sam Amico spent 15 years covering the NBA for Sports Illustrated, FOX Sports and, along with a few other spots, and currently runs his own basketball website on the side,


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  1. Lemoron, the brain, the legend. I look forward to the day the story comes out about how Lemoron is telling his grandchildren how he destroyed the NBA with his trained mind. Of course at that point Lemoron will be in the Xinjiang region with Uyghur slaves of his very own. Giving speeches on his superior intelligence and his sore foot. Good riddance Lemoron, you are just another social justice weirdo.

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