It has been a decade since LeBron James decided to take his talents to South Beach to join Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh. When the trio teamed up before 2010-11 season and declared that they would win ‘Not one, not two, not three, not four, not five, not six, not seven championships together. After LeBron’s tenure in Miami, they were only able to win 2 out of four trips to the Finals.
However, before James selected to go to Miami, he was behind the scenes trying to recruit players to Cleveland. One of the players he tried to recruit was NBA Champion, Brendan Haywood.
“So, it is my free agent year I’m in Dallas, and I made alright money on the first deal that I signed on my rookie deal. But, I hadn’t got the big money, I was making like five [million] a year. So, it’s free agency time when [Le] Bron is trying to make his decision on where he is going to go. He was actually recruiting guys to come to Cleveland. So, I’m cool with Jawad Williams, and he gets my number from [him]. Jawad Williams hits me up and is like LeBron wants your number,” said Haywood.
“So, I get a text like “Yo, This King James.” I was like, first of all, why are you calling me. He is like I wanting to know if you would be willing to take a pay cut because I know what you are supposed to get on the market. But, wanting to know if you would be willing to take a pay cut to be apart of something special. I’m thinking to myself, boy, I wouldn’t take a pay cut to play with the 92 Bulls.”
The funny thing is Haywood, and James’ teams would face off in the Finals  later that season. The Dallas Mavericks would beat the Miami Heat in six games, and Dirk Nowitzki was named the MVP.
Dallas was able to beat James, Wade, Bosh before they could figure out how to win together.
Dallas Mavericks assistant Darrell Armstrong recently shared that when James decided to leave Cleveland, he relinquished his throne.
“LeBron [James] left his throne in Cleveland to join two all-stars. So, don’t push anything with MJ or the last dance. Don’t even push him with Kobe [Bryant],” said Armstrong.
James did get players to come to Cleveland when he returned and lead them to the city’s first professional championship in 50 years in 2016.
Haywood played 13 seasons in the league and averaged 6.8 points, 6.0 rebounds, and 0.5 assists per game.