The Cavaliers don’t have much going for them, but what they do have are a few young players, one in particular who I believe was passed the torch of the Cavs from the one of the best players in NBA history.
Cedi Osman was a rookie in the 2018 season, the final season of LeBron James’ second stint in Cleveland. Throughout the season it was clear James had taken a liking to the young Turkish forward, running to him before anyone else after big shots, spending a lot of time with him outside of games and practice, and he even began calling Osman “my rook” and taking him under his wing.
With the rumors of LeBron James’ departure looming on the horizon throughout the season, I began to wonder if this was a part James’ plan to leave behind a capable player who’d learned directly from him in order to take his place on the Cavaliers for the post-LBJ future.
Watching Osman’s game, it’s clear he took a lot of inspiration from LeBron, adapting to a similar play-style as the King. It was obvious as a viewer that Cedi had learned a lot about his game studying James from the season they shared together on the Cavaliers, the way he could run the floor, pass, and even as far as his ability to use some of LeBron’s moves during games.
During the off-season, James posted a picture on Instagram showing Osman working out with the King and his group of superstars forwards, Kevin Durant and Kawhi Leonard. Osman being included in this workout with the three best players at his position no doubt helped him improve and shows that despite no longer being on the team, LeBron is still dedicated to his rook and is trying to help him improve, even from the outside.
LeBron James left Cleveland with a gaping hole to fill, and with his own tutelage, thrust Osman into that position. Cedi has shown that he is up for the challenge, taking a massive leap in comparison to what he showed us last year, and is proving to be a very capable young player.
Osman isn’t a superstar, but he was honored to be named to the Rising Stars game, representing the World team at All-Star weekend. Despite playing very few minutes and only scoring a single layup, Osman had the skill and potential to be recognized with the spot on the roster. The world was finally starting to open their eyes to the young Turkish Cav.
LeBron James is a massive influence on Osman getting to this point, and I believe the evidence is there to suggest it was his intention to pass the torch of the Cleveland Cavalier Franchise in his final dominant season as a Cavalier, to none other than the first year rookie from Turkey, leaving behind someone to continue where he left off.