After a week filled with speculation sparked by comments that he would like to team up with three of his friends, LeBron James is expressing confidence in the Cavaliers’ chances at an NBA title, writes Fred Kerber of The New York Post. James said he dreams of joining forces with Dwyane Wade, Carmelo Anthony and Chris Paul for at least one season before they all retire. That came on the heels of a decision Monday to unfollow the Cavs’ official Twitter account. On Saturday, James, who can opt out of his contract this summer, expressed confidence in his current teammates and indicated his long-term future will be in Cleveland. “I believe in what we have,” he said. “And I know we can win a championship with the group we have. And I’m confident in my abilities to lead this group and everything else is smoke and mirrors and doesn’t really matter to me.”
There’s more news out of Cleveland:
- The constant hints about his future have turned James into a distraction, contends Mark Heisler of The Los Angeles Daily News. Replacing head coach David Blatt with Tyronn Lue was supposed to bring peace to the locker room, but Heisler writes that point guard Kyrie Irving isn’t willing to become a second option to James the way that Wade did in Miami. Irving is seven years younger than James and is signed through 2019, so Heisler thinks he considers himself a cornerstone in Cleveland regardless of what James decides.
- Backup point guard Mo Williams returned to the court Saturday for the first time in a month after getting an injection in his left knee, according to Jason Lloyd of The Akron Beacon Journal. Williams had just started practicing a few days ago, but Lue asked him to help out with Irving sidelined. “I just started on-court stuff Monday,” Williams said. “In my mind it was next week, that’s what I was telling everyone silently. Every situation is different and I’m the ultimate team guy. I’m not going to put our team in a bind.” Williams said he will probably have knee pain the rest of his career but doesn’t plan to retire anytime soon.
- Lue resumed coaching the defense after the Cavs gave up 122 points last week in a loss to Miami, Lloyd writes in the same piece. He had given those duties to assistant Mike Longabardi after being named head coach.