LeBron James says it would have been more difficult for him to leave the Heat if they’d beaten the Spurs in the Finals this year and that he hadn’t envisioned returning to play in Cleveland until the end of his career. James made his comments to CNN’s Rachel Nichols, who released a preview of the full interview, which airs Friday (video link).
Here’s more from the Southeast Division:
- With LeBron gone Chris Bosh will become the focal point of the Heat‘s offense, something the player is greatly looking forward to, Jared Zwerling of Bleacher Report writes. Bosh’s former coach Sam Mitchell believes his former player will answer the bell, saying “Pat Riley gave him the contract that said, ‘You’re going to be the guy. People think Chris is not that guy. When the offense is running through him, they’re going to find out, I guarantee you. One of those Big Three in Miami had to take a backseat and check his ego at the door. If Chris hadn’t done it, they may not have two championships. Now, I think Chris is going to play even better than he did in Toronto. I really do, because now he has something to prove all over again.”
- Hornets GM Rich Cho said there have been some initial discussions between the franchise and Kemba Walker about a possible extension, Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer reports (Twitter link). Walker can become a restricted free agent next summer.
- The Wizards enter the new season with higher expectations than usual, Joseph White of USA Today writes. Coach Randy Wittman embraces the pressure that comes with those expectations, saying, “Listen, as a coach, you want to have these expectations. I’d much rather be sitting here talking about high expectations than you so-called experts thinking we might win 15-16 games. Last year doesn’t mean nothing. Last year we’ve got to use. Are we going to use it as a stepping stone to this year? When I say we’re back to ground zero, everybody’s 0-0 right now.”
- Embattled Hawks GM Danny Ferry is slowly gathering supporters around the league, Chris Vivlamore of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution writes. But this support may not ultimately help Ferry keep his job, notes Vivlamore, and the executive’s fate most likely rests with whomever the new controlling owner of the franchise is.
Chuck Myron contributed to this post.