Jan 25, 2021; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; Cleveland Cavaliers guard Darius Garland (10) drives against Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23) in the second quarter at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse. Mandatory Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

There’s nothing even more proud to see the sudden emergence of the Cleveland Cavaliers in the post-LeBron James times than the rising star Darius Garland. 

In a recent interview with Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium, the 21-year-old guard stated that he is confident and pumped up for the Cavs’ strong push this season. He is also delighted to have an opportunity to create their own noise as a team outside James’ shadow.

“Just having our own legacy without having anything with ‘Bron to do with it, that would be pretty cool,” Garland said. “And then having a playoff run without Bron for that long, that’s pretty amazing. Then just having the city behind our back, this city has been waiting for this for a long time, so making the playoffs will mean a lot for the city of Cleveland and the Cavs organization.”

After a 2015 homecoming, delivering the franchise’s first title in a remarkable fashion in 2016, and guiding the city to four-straight Finals appearances, James opted to leave Cleveland for Los Angeles to join the Lakers in 2018. Since then, the bright-minded, lead executive Koby Altman focused his attention on molding the perfect new era of the squad by drafting Garland, Collin Sexton, Isaac Okoro, and Evan Mobley while trading for Jarrett Allen, Ricky Rubio, Lauri Markannen, and Rajon Rondo. 

From the past two decades of reliance on the all-time great player, the Cavs embarked the unthinkable this season and made themselves capable of standing on their own, carving through the shortlist of East heavyweights in Chicago Bulls, Brooklyn Nets, Miami Heat, Philadelphia 76ers, and the reigning champ Milwaukee Bucks with a 27-18 record and the fourth sitting in the conference. 

With this unexpected emergence, the Cavs captivated every single fan with their energizing, youthful approach, balanced offensive attack, and terrorizing defense. A squad composed of promising players and trustworthy veterans, they are much hungrier to prove they can develop as a title contender and reach much greater heights for years to come.