LeBron on Cavs' 5-5 record: 'I have a low tolerance for things of this nature'

by 8h ago

When LeBron James left the Miami Heat and re-joined the Cleveland Cavaliers, he knew the team wasn't ready to contend for a championship.

James recognizes patience is the key to helping his hometown team reach the top of the NBA standings. It's a new process for James, but he welcomes it, hoping the end result will be the biggest reward.

On Friday, James told Dave McMenamin of ESPN the transformation process is one he can't wait to be done with.

"My patience isn't (endless)," he said. "I have a low tolerance for things of this nature. So it's something I'm working on as well, which I knew from the beginning that that was going to be my biggest test to see how much patience I got with the process."

As well as trying to groom the team, he's also learning how to play with Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love, who often demand the ball. For James, that's a learning curve he's adjusting to.

"I'm a winner, I want to win and I want to win now," James said. "It's not tomorrow, it's not down the line, I want to win now. So it's a fine line for me, but I understand what we're enduring right now."

When asked if his patience is wearing thin this early, James calmly dismissed the idea, saying: "It's only been 10 games. Not yet."

Feature photo courtesy of Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports

Nov 19, 3:43 PM

LeBron: 'This is more challenging than me trying to win my first championship'

by Nov 19, 3:43 PM

LeBron James started out 5-4 in his first season with the Miami Heat, playing with new teammates in an unfamiliar environment. Though it's easy to draw parallels, his circumstances with the Cleveland Cavaliers, off to a similarly uninspiring 5-4 start, are unique.

Namely, James has never tasked himself with being the leader of a young core of players. He was just blossoming in his first Cleveland stint, and his time in Miami saw him flanked by equally mature stars and a cast of veteran players.

James is now one of the most experienced players on the roster and one of the only players on the team with appreciable playoff experience. He's also the only one to have played through scrutiny similar to the kind the Cavaliers are dealing with right now, while struggling to meet sky-high expectations. It's been challenging, as James says he expected.

James told ESPN on Wednesday that his role in Cleveland is more complex than just chasing a title, and it's about more than just basketball: 

This is more challenging than me trying to win my first championship. Because that was a personal goal of mine. Doing this was never a goal until I decided to come back to Cleveland.

I've taken on the burden of leading young guys, getting them to understand what it takes to win. And it takes more than just basketball. It's about being a professional, not having a sense of entitlement, being grateful that you're a part of this league. Those things have a lot to do with winning.

Cleveland isn't where it needs to be yet, but the Cavaliers have plenty of time to get there. James having been through similar ruts in the past should help, and he can lean on his experiences in Miami to teach Kevin Love, Kyrie Irving and company how to power through the tougher stretches.

Whether that can help the team's woeful defense is less clear, but it should, at the very least, help keep heads cool while the team finds its footing.

Oct 20, 8:42 AM

LeBron James set leadership tone with players-only meeting at start of training camp

by Oct 20, 8:42 AM

After four seasons away, LeBron James has returned to the Cleveland Cavaliers a more mature player and leader.

That was apparent to his new Cavaliers teammates from day one, when James delayed head coach David Blatt's first practice to hold a players-only meeting. For half an hour before the team hit the floor for the first time, James laid out his vision for the season, what he needs from each teammate, and what they can expect this season.

"I was looking like, 'Wow.' That's crazy that he broke down every individual thing he wants guys to do," Dion Waiters told Yahoo Sports. "He wrote down every player from the guy in training camp who may be here or may not be here.

"It was unbelievable. It was great."

While James wasn't necessarily a poor leader last time he was in Cleveland, he was still green as far as NBA superstars go. Anderson Varejao, the lone holdover from James' last Cavaliers squad, has noticed a shift in James' approach.

"Back then, I'm not saying he was a bad leader, but he had some ups and downs with that," Varejao said. "He used to talk individually to the players before, but not like that."

For his part, Blatt doesn't seem to mind his first session being delayed some. A rookie behind an NBA bench, Blatt getting strong leadership from the league's best player will only make his job easier.

"From Day One, LeBron has taken it upon himself to lead the team in voice and example," Blatt said. "LeBron talks the talk, but he walks the walk. That's what you want from your leader."

James' leadership will get tested as the season opens, but he's been through just about everything short of major injury the last four seasons. His Miami Heat started cold in year one and lost in their first attempt at a title, and so James should be able to lend perspective if things don't come together immediately.

Feature photo courtesy of Frank Victores / USA Today Sports