LeBron James held a rally in north east Ohio, making his return to Cleveland just a little more real. It was his first press conference since announcing his return to the Cleveland Cavaliers nearly a month ago in a piece by Lee Jenkins at Sports Illustrated. He came across as mature, and fully aware of the challenges ahead if he wants to bring a championship to Cleveland.
Perhaps the most newsworthy tidbit came in the form of a question about LeBron James signing a two year deal with an opt out. Before saying that he is a businessman and had to look out for his own interests, he said this:
LBJ on ending his career here: "I'm not going anywhere."— Jason Lloyd (@JasonLloydABJ) August 8, 2014
So that's nice. He also heaped praise on his new Cavaliers teammates. He extolled the experience and shooting of Mike Miller and James Jones. He applauded the energy and transition finishing of Tristan Thompson. On Dion Waiters:
"I love the chip on Dion’s shoulder. Lots of people look at it as a negative but I see it as a positive" —LeBron James— Conrad Kaczmarek (@ConradKazNBA) August 8, 2014
And he made it clear he believes Kyrie Irving can be the best point guard in the NBA before it's all said and done. He also gushed about Kevin Love, making the point of how valuable to Team USA that Love was in the 2012 Olympics in Beijing. James was clearly well versed in the intricacies of why the trade for Love hasn't been made official, but he also made it clear that he hopes Love comes to Cleveland. James publicly saying he isn't leaving is but reassurance for Cavs fans that Kevin Love won't leave next summer. It's so hard to see him leaving Kyrie Irving and James to accept less money somewhere else.
James admitted he's been getting to know new coach David Blatt like the rest of us, watching clips on line and reading articles about his offensive system. And of course, this is what we all want to hear:
LeBron says if he can bring championship to Cleveland, it would be his greatest career accomplishment.— Jason Lloyd (@JasonLloydABJ) August 8, 2014
The Cavaliers are clearly in the honeymoon phase right now. James admitted there will be ups and downs, even with Kevin Love. But things are going to be so much better than what has happened in the last four years. I can't wait.