8, which gives the Cleveland Cavaliers just over three weeks to figure out what they plan to do to improve for the second half run of the 2017-18 National Basketball Association season.
"This is a hard year for our team", James said.
Several prominent players, speaking on condition of anonymity to ESPN, Cleveland.com and The Athletic, expressed doubt that the problems - an aging roster, defensively challenged personnel and a glut of redundant role players - could simply be worked out through patience and a chance to coalesce when fully healthy.
It was one-sided in the Finals past year, it's been one-sided so far this season and if - a major "if" - we see this play out again in June, it looks like it will be one-sided then as well.
There have only been a select few games this year in which the Warriors have actually been clicking on all cylinders, yet they still have an NBA-best 36-9 record.
Even if the Cavaliers are struggling, the Celtics need to get better in a lot of ways to be confident in their ability to get to the Finals.
Victims speak out against Larry Nassar: 'Little girls don't stay little forever'
After hearing the courageous stories of my friends and other survivors, I know that this horrific experience does not define me. She told the court in Lansing, Michigan , that her parents did not believe her when she told them about the abuse.
According to Spencer Checketts, the host of The Big Show on 1280 Sports, it sounds like the Cleveland Cavaliers have their eyes on another veteran big man that might cost much less to acquire.
"There was excitement in Cleveland for the pieces the Cavs got in the Irving trade", ESPN Brian Windhorst reported in a story published Tuesday.
Not that they see things that way.
Coach Tyronn Lue was aware of the reports, and joked that the comments didn't come from any players he knows. But even he circled back and qualified his remarks. But judging by the standings, I am pretty sure Irving feels good about his decision.
How they'll get there is an open question.
With the trade deadline looming February 8, the Cavaliers do have some options, including trading their 2018 first-round pick, which could fetch interest on the market. DeMarcus Cousins was expected to be on the block this season, but the New Orleans Pelicans are in the playoff picture and won't be moving him. It's David West and Jordan Bell. The Cavs are the NBA's oldest team. It may not be the Cavs, but one of their chief rivals that makes a significant addition at the deadline. Thomas could round into form and give James another offensive fulcrum to play off while propping up the offense when he sits.
The Warriors and Cavaliers are on course to meet in the NBA Finals for a fourth consecutive time in July. If James is willing to move on from his hometown team, then the first step in the Lakers hopes to sign the best player in the world can be completed.