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Former All-Star explains why he would’ve won title with LeBron James if he joined Cavs in 2005
- Updated: November 26, 2020
Former Milwaukee Bucks star Michael Redd recently reflected on his 12-year NBA career and indicated that if he had signed with the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2005, the Cavs would likely have defeated the San Antonio Spurs in the 2007 NBA Finals.
Redd recently spoke with Brandon Robinson and Sean Deveney and said that loyalty to the Bucks kept him in Milwaukee.
Still, Redd believes that joining the Cavs likely would have prevented them from ending up on the wrong side of a four-game sweep by the San Antonio Spurs in the finals.
He even admitted that he and LeBron James have spoken about that alternate reality.
“You know, me and LeBron had that conversation over the years and we probably would’ve won a championship,” Redd said.
“At that point, my career – and LeBron was great back then, but he was not who he is now. His savviness, his experience what he learned from D-Wade (Dwyane Wade) in 2011, 2012 and 2013 he became a different player from the 2005 to 2007. But I think still though, with the cast that he had I think we would’ve won a championship. I would’ve taken the pressure off him.
“I could score, close … yeah. I enjoy playing and I love the fourth quarter. I do miss that being removed from the game. I loved the pressure-packed moments. I’ve always embraced them. You know, being on the edge and being in the NBA and out of the NBA as a rookie builds character in you and a toughness to persevere and I just enjoyed you know, just being the guy who won the game or who lost the game and that probably would’ve helped LeBron in Cleveland.”
After the Cavaliers were swept, the team’s depth and excessive reliance on James were severely criticized.
Redd’s belief that he would have made a difference in that finals series was based in part on his past history against the Spurs.
“Well, I always gave San Antonio problems – personally when I played San Antonio in that era,” Redd said.
“They would put Bruce Bowen on me, or whatever which we had great success against San Antonio for whatever reason in Milwaukee. It was certain teams that we had success against and San Antonio was on our radar which was a team that we could be for whatever reason. So LeBron who he was back then, being just a machine that he was and then the scoring ability with myself. That’s a hard combination to tackle so, obviously no doubt San Antonio had the savvy. They won championships. Coach Pop (Gregg Popovich), it would’ve been a heck of a series for sure.”
The roster issues with the Cavaliers would continue to plague the franchise, with James eventually leaving in 2010 to join the Miami Heat.
James did rejoin the Cavaliers in 2014 and led them to their first and only title two years later.
Yet, it’s clear that in Redd’s opinion, Cavs fans would have been celebrating nine years earlier had he made a different choice.