The years following LeBron James‘ departure were complicated for the Cleveland Cavaliers.
While they did find some success and had strong players remain, most of the seasons were losing ones with the hopes of a rebuilding process that could bring a bright future.
That future is here and it has finally taken the team out of James’ mammoth shadow.
When the Cavs easily defeated the Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday night, it was like an official changing of the guard.
Donovan Mitchell last night pic.twitter.com/BHX4padKeC
— McNeil (@Reflog_18) December 7, 2022
The team is definitely no longer James’, especially after Donovan Mitchell‘s amazing 43-point performance.
A humorous meme that has become popular online makes it clear: Mitchell is the face of the Cleveland Cavaliers and while James will always receive a warm welcome from the Ohio crowds, Mitchell is their new biggest hero.
And you can’t blame them for feeling that way because he has done so much during his start in Cleveland.
Mitchell In Charge
The Cavs were building something special over the last few years with the additions of Darius Garland, Evan Mobley, Collin Sexton, and others.
But the team still felt tied to the past and James, with analysts always wondering when they’d finally reach greatness without the King.
The Cavaliers are now a stellar, truly competitive team, made all the better by the acquisition of Mitchell in the summer.
Again and again, Mitchell is having big nights and while Garland, Mobley, Jarrett Allen, and the rest of the squad are all potential All-Stars, it feels like Mitchell has quickly become the franchise’s face and centerpiece.
James will always be a champion to fans of the Cavaliers, he will forever be a hero for what he did for the team.
But this isn’t his franchise or city anymore and there is absolutely no doubt about that.
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