Even a worm will turn is an expression used to convey the message that even the meekest or most docile of creatures will retaliate or get revenge if pushed too far, and that circumstances can bring a change of fortune. The phrase originates from William Shakespeare’s play Henry VI, Part 3. The original phrase was uttered by Lord Clifford, killer of Rutland as, “To whom do lions cast their gentle looks? Not to the beast that would usurp their den. The smallest worm will turn being trodden on, And doves will peck in safeguard of their brood.
On July 11th, 2014 LeBron James announced that he was leaving the Miami Heat and returning to the Cleveland Cavilers, where he had spent his first seven seasons as an NBA player. The prodigal son to return home as a conquering hero. A basketball Oedipus retuning from his basketball odyssey, now a knighted immortal, charged with the task of restoring order in desolate sports wasteland that is starved for a championship. We all were swept up in the emotion of LeBron returning to Cleveland, it felt so right. It felt right because of all of the beliefs that we as fans ascribe too and try to place on our modern day gladiators. We thought he was going back to Cleveland to lead a pack of tiger cubs, talented yet untested, on the path to glory. Kyrie, Andrew, Dion and the crew would flank King James as they flew their new flag in the faces of established legions, and James would lead the charge over the hill. Oh, how the worm has turned.
LeBron James is business man. He waxed poetically in his letter, “Before anyone ever cared where I would play basketball, I was a kid from Northeast Ohio”. Sounds good king. Above all else James is a business man, a shrewd one at that, with “The Decision” being his lone misstep. This move back to Cleveland seems like just another step of his relentless self-aggrandizing calculated ventures, which was masked by the fact he was going to a team with a bit of growing to do, not joining forces with a group that was ready for championship contention. We all assumed that he would help nurture a young nucleus, mainly Andrew Wiggins, and they would eventually win a championship. Now with the Cavs “handshake” agreement to trade for Kevin Love, it seems like he bolted from Miami to form a younger “big 3” in Cleveland.
Andrew Wiggins, to trade or not to trade, that is the question? Bet on his enormous talent and allow him to blossom under the tutelage of LeBron, and carry the franchise into the spring after King James’ winter has come? Or move him for a proven commodity in Kevin Love, who with his presence guarantees title contention this season. Could Andrew Wiggins have been the Magic Johnson to LeBron’s Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and extended LeBron’s prime and by proxy his championship window? Or is he just a mercurial talent who teases NBA fans with his enormous potential and is nothing more than a pretty rainbow traipsing across the clear blue sky? We love numbers in the “New NBA”. Data, analytics, plus/minus and all types of advanced metrics, but this boggle has no number to rest on. Sometimes in sports all it takes is a leap of faith or blind luck. How will history remember this transaction? A number one overall pick being traded before he’s even suited up, there’s no precedent. I feel that it’s a mistake because Wiggins is already a “plus defender” who can help get stops and slow down great perimeter scorers from his first game on the court. Kevin Love is a poor defender who can REALLY score, but how much more scoring do the Cavs need when they already have Dion Waiters, Kyrie Irving and LeBron James?
LeBron James didn’t mention Andrew Wiggins in his letter, and if he really wanted to mentor him he would have. LeBron made a business decision to return to Cleveland. Nothing more, nothing less. It will be great for the NBA and LeBron’s bottom line, and will generate excitement for the league. I was hoping to see him and Wiggins side by side, but as it turns out Wiggins has been jettisoned to Minnesota and the king has gotten his wish of immediate help. Wonder how he’ll feel watching Love and Irving get shredded in June, I’d LOVE to read that letter.