Latest posts by Sam Amico (see all)
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You can take LeBron James out of Cleveland but apparently, you can’t take Cedi Osman away from James. And former Cavaliers and current Toronto Raptors assistant coach Phil Handy has the picture to prove it.
But Osman didn’t just work out with James. Golden State Warriors star Kevin Durant and Raptors standout Kawhi Leonard, formerly of the San Antonio Spurs, were also among those on hand during the session at UCLA.
James, of course, left for the Los Angeles Lakers in July.
James, Durant and Leonard can all make a case as being the league’s best player. They’re definitely the top three forwards.
Osman, on the other hand, is entering his second season. He posted averages of 3.9 points and 2.0 rebounds a game as a rookie. Neither James nor Durant nor Leonard has likely scored just four points in a single game — ever.
But Osman developed a bond with James, and it apparently runs deeper than many may have suspected, as evidenced by Handy’s photo on Instagram.
“Work is work,” Handy wrote below the picture. “It don’t matter what team we represent, the NBA is family. True professionals all trying to perfect our craft.”
Osman is expected to compete with Rodney Hood (once signed) and perhaps Kyle Korver for James’ old starting small forward spot. Osman’s positive attitude and hustling defense, some suspect, may give him the edge.
He looked great on the Cavs’ summer team and spent time playing for Turkey in the FIBA World Cup qualifiers immediately after the season. So it’s been lots of hoops for a player who’s clearly looking to take it to another level.
And working out with the best small forwards in the business, not to mention the man who previously held the job in Cleveland, should only help Osman’s cause.
Work isn’t just work. When you’re Osman, work with James, Durant and Leonard is likely much more than that.