The Cavaliers brought in several free agents for an audition today, with players like Kirk Hinrich, Mario Chalmers, Lance Stephenson, and Jordan Farmar earning a look from the team. Of the names on that list, Stephenson’s was one that immediately stood out, given his on-court history with LeBron James. The former Pacer faced James and the Heat in three consecutive postseasons, serving as an agitator and memorably blowing into LeBron’s ear during one playoff game. Nonetheless, the reigning Finals MVP tells ESPN’s Dave McMenamin that he’d have no problem with Stephenson joining the Cavs.
“I just want to win, man,” James said. “That’s all that matters to me. I got no personal problems with nobody.”
Here’s more out of Cleveland:
- Asked about the four veteran free agents listed above, James pointed out that he has a history with all of them except for Farmar. “I got a history with all those guys except Jordan,” LeBron said, per McMenamin. “I got a history with Lance too, obviously. I got a history versus Kirk. I played him in a lot of playoff series. And I got a history with Rio [Chalmers]. … At the end of the day, Rio is recovering from his Achilles tear. I hope he’s been doing everything he needs to do just to get back on the floor. He loves to play the game. … I’m a supporter of what this franchise wants to do, no matter what it’s doing. But my focus right now is to get our guys playing championship-level basketball.”
- As the Cavs struggled on the court in January, LeBron was as vocal as ever off the court, publicly airing his frustrations about Charles Barkley, Phil Jackson, and the Cavs’ roster in recent weeks. ESPN’s Brian Windhorst explains why James has been more agitated than usual as of late.
- In a separate piece for ESPN.com, Windhorst explores whether Andrew Wiggins will ever make the Cavaliers regret the deal that sent the No. 1 pick to the Timberwolves in a package for Kevin Love. As Windhorst observes, the fact that the Cavs won a title with Love makes it unlikely that the team would ever want a mulligan on the move.
- Speaking of Love, an MRI on his injured back revealed no structural damage, as Jason Lloyd of The Akron Beacon Journal writes. He’ll miss tonight’s game, but the injury isn’t expect to sideline him for too long.
- Earlier this afternoon, we heard that the Knicks haven’t given up their pursuit of Love, despite resistance from the Cavs.