In his first official public appearance since announcing his return to the Cleveland Cavaliers, LeBron James eased concerns of those worried by parameters of his merely two-year contract. Insisting that the deal’s length and player option for 2015-2016 are solely related to business, James committed to Northeast Ohio longterm. “I’m not going anywhere ever again,” he said.
James fielded questions from reporters before an event celebrating his homecoming in Akron, OH. Fox Sports’ Zac Jackson has more on LeBron’s press conference, including The King’s thoughts on the forthcoming addition of Kevin Love.
Despite signing a two-year contract with a one-year opt-out clause, James said he’s home for good.
“I’m not going anywhere ever again,” James said. “I don’t have the energy (for free agency).”
James spoke for about 15 minutes in an empty locker room at the University of Akron’s InfoCision Stadium, just a few miles from where he grew up and attended high school…
…James met the new Cavaliers coach, David Blatt, last week in New York. James said they talked about “everything,” and that upon signing with the Cavaliers he went online “and looked up David Blatt’s offense.”
It will be the LeBron James Offense — “Obviously I can play every position,” he said — and its goal will be to bring the Cavaliers their first NBA title.
James said winning a title in Cleveland “would be the greatest achievement of my life on the court…”
As for Love, he first hesitated to say much other than he hopes the reported trade will happen. He praised Love and the time they spent together on the U.S. Olympic team and said he welcomes the chance to play with Love in Cleveland.
“If it happens, I’m very excited,” James said of Love. “I don’t really care about the 26 (points) and 12 (rebounds Love averaged last season). I care about the basketball IQ.”
No one within the NBA world took James’ contract at face value – it was obvious he was simply ensuring he’d earn the biggest possible amount as a result of major salary cap spikes coming before the 2015-2016 and 2016-2017 seasons. Still, LeBron’s firm confirmation of that belief surely heartens Cavs fans everywhere. James surely wouldn’t commit to finishing his career in Cleveland if he wasn’t intent on doing so given the firestorm of 2010.
These are his first comments on Blatt and Love, too. Though we don’t know how much research of Blatt’s offense LeBron actually did, he’s right on the whole: The motion, continuity, and Princeton principles of Blatt’s system should make for a seamless transition for a player with his multi-faceted talents. And though James toed the line of tampering with regard to Love, that he’s especially fond of the three-point shooting, rebound-grabbing maven’s mind is of great interest.
LeBron continues to do and say all of the right things since announcing his return. And with Love in tow and all of Ohio behind him, it’s certainly possible his run of success will extend to the floor once the 2014-2015 season kicks off in late October.
What do you think?
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