As the Cleveland Cavaliers’ media day arrived, several members of the organization were in attendance, but no one’s presence was more meaningful than that of LeBron James. As expected, James’ press conference was memorable and full of exceptional quotes, but his demeanor was noticeably different. Four years ago, LeBron projected eight championships for the Miami Heat. Now, after returning home, the King is preaching “patience.” When asked about the biggest lesson learned in Miami, LeBron replied,
“You need to be very patient with the process and understand. I think everyone always wants to see the end result and what’s at the end of the tunnel, and don’t quite understand what goes on from the start to the finish and what’s in between that. And I understand that and I know that, so patience is the biggest thing that I’ve learned.”
Patience appears to be the team’s approach to fend off the high expectations of this upcoming season. Great teams can be assembled, but it takes time for the glue to settle. Players needs to develop chemistry with one another and must learn how to intertwine their games to produce success. Although the expectations are high, there is no championship or bust mentality just yet. Head Coach David Blatt put it best,
“Our goals are high. We’re not shying away from that. Does that mean championship today? I don’t know. I don’t know if that’s fair.”
Regardless of the goals, LeBron realizes the requirements necessary to attain a championship.
“So I wept from crying tears of joy and tears of frustration. Two up, two down, so I know. I know it all. I know what it takes. I’m a guy that, my expectations are still high because I believe in this team and what we can ultimately get to. But I also understand it won’t be easy and we can’t try to play November and get to June or May right now. We have to go November to December and the rest of the calendar year to even have a chance.”
James also understands the leadership role better and appears to be ready for the challenge by stating,
“I will be the leader of this team. I can lead by example, I can lead by voice, I can lead by command, I can lead by just my presence.”
Cleveland will witness not only an extremely talented basketball player, but one more mature and knowledgeable. The King once abandoned the city to become a villain, but reclaims his throne as a hero. As the regular season creeps closer, the Cavaliers will temper outside expectations and focus on their own goals. Despite being labeled ‘favorites,’ LeBron and company must work hard to become champions. The trophy will not be handed to Cleveland, so the road to success starts with patience.