The Cleveland Cavaliers held their 2017/2018 Media day this afternoon at Cleveland Clinic courts in Independence. Head coach Ty Lue kicked off the festivities by taking to the podium first.
Lue talked about the news of Isaiah Thomas returning by January.
“It’s great news seeing how he has progressed these last few weeks,” Lue said. “Anytime you can get a guy of that caliber back into the fold it’s a great opportunity.”
Lue also named Derrick Rose the starting point guard until Thomas returns. He talked about incorporating all of the new players as it’s rare for a team coming off of an NBA finals appearance to undergo such a drastic roster turnover (video).
Lebron James discusses future in Cleveland and Kyrie Irving’s departure
Lebron James is still sticking by his statement he made when he returned to Cleveland in 2014 that he plans to finish his career in Cleveland.
“My feelings haven’t changed, that’s why I sit here today still in this uniform, still ready to lead this franchise to a championship,” James said. “Any time I’m able to be a free agent or my contract is ending, I’ll approach that when the summer comes. I don’t ever cheat my teammates or cheat the fans or talk about free agency all year long because I’m not going to give energy to something I can handle in the summertime when I should be focused on what I’m doing on a day-to-day basis to help this franchise compete for a championship.”
Lebron also touched on Kyrie Irving’s trade request and ultimate departure from Cleveland (video).
J.R. Smith calls Lebron James a “jerk”
J.R. Smith had some playful not so nice things to say about his teammate.
“A jerk,” Smith said. “He calls me at 6:30 in the morning, asking me what I’m doing. Obviously, I’m asleep.” He quickly followed with: “He gives you that determination to be better every day.” Obviously he was joking in making the “jerk” comment.
Smith is in a much better place starting this season. The 2016/2017 season was the toughest Smith has endured in his career as he dealt with injuries for a large part of the season. Smith’s daughter Dakota was also born five months premature. When he wasn’t rehabbing Smith was at the hospital with his wife and daughter. Dakota is now a healthy little girl and Smith physically feels great and is ready to roll into the new season.
Isaiah Thomas making great progress in rehab from hip labrum tear
Isaiah Thomas is progressing well in his rehab. The Cavaliers announced that they expect him back on the court by January 1st. Thomas admitted that there are more resources at the Cleveland Clinic available to assist in his rehab than there was in Boston. He also discussed joining the Cavaliers and what he expects when he returns (video).
Kevin Love looks to benefit most from the departure of Kyrie Irving
Kevin Love without a doubt has the best opportunity to benefit from Kyrie Irving’s trade to Boston. Coach Ty Lue has stated that he plans to run the offense through Love more often giving Love the chance to be the second option on offense behind Lebron James. Love talked about his new role along with re-uniting with former AAU teammate Isaiah Thomas (video).
Derrick Rose motivated and ready to prove the doubters wrong
Derrick Rose impressed his new teammates at Lebron’s mini-camp last week in California. Now he looks to impress his new coach, fans and all those who believe he can no longer play at a high level. Rose even joked about people not realizing he is only 28.
“I am 28 years old,” Rose stated. “People act like I’m 38 years old!”
Rose touched on his desire to re-establish his career in Cleveland and why he took a minimum contract to join the Cavaliers (video).
Not all was serious basketball discussion as Cavaliers players did some trolling and had some fun with each other (video).