Relax? Easier said than done for LeBron


VIDEO: LeBron James says being patient this season has been a challenge for him

Maybe if Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers weren’t otherwise indisposed, LeBron James could have called on him to offer words of advice to Cleveland fans worried about, and NBA experts critical of, the Cavaliers’ unimpressive 5-5 start.

But it’s not clear that James’ message is as simple as “Relax.”

James’ needle was pointed in that direction when he announced his return to Cleveland in July, though that part of his message might have gotten swamped in the exuberance of The Decision II. He has said at various times in the preseason and early season that it would take time for the re-tooled Cavs to find their groove and identity. Heck, James said it in several ways as recently as Wednesday night, after a 92-90 home loss to San Antonio had them sifting through the disappointment for bright spots like some wannabe lottery team.

But his tone had shifted significantly by Friday morning, after Cleveland’s shootaround in Washington for its game with the Wizards (8 p.m. ET, ESPN). Had Rodgers shown up to drop a “R-E-L-A-X” on James at the Verizon Center, the four-time MVP might have sacked him. As reported by Chris Haynes of the Northeast Ohio Media Group:

“That’s my biggest test,” [James] said. “My patience, 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 it was going to be my biggest test to see how much patience I have with the process.

“What helps me out is that I’ve been through it before, but at the same time, I’m a winner and I want to win and I want to win now. 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.”

That differs from the essay James penned with SI.com’s Lee Jenkins when he chose to return to Cleveland over extending his stay with the Miami Heat. Remember?

I’m not promising a championship. I know how hard that is to deliver. We’re not ready right now. No way. Of course, I want to win next year, but I’m realistic. It will be a long process, much longer than it was in 2010. My patience will get tested.

For the record, the Heat started 9-8 in James’ first year in south Florida, teaming with stars (Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh) who were more advanced in their own careers than Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love. But they figured things out in time to reach The Finals.

Also for the record, the Cavs faced a tough back-to-back this weekend against the Wizards on the road and then home against Toronto Saturday. Oh, and the Packers were 1-2 when Rodgers urge calm on the cheeseheads of Packers nation. They’ve gone 6-1 since.

31 Comments

  1. BlogSoHard2014 says:

    Bron-bron getting rusty.

  2. ApexPredator says:

    People forget that when LBJ joined MIA they already had an established team. There were a nice mix of veterans and youth then they added pieces around James. Example is signing Allen, Lewis, Andersen for example. Wade was championship caliber aside from the knee issues and Bosh was in his prime. The coaching and management staff was together. The big point is that they had experience already (tight games, playoffs, etc)

    CLE right now is still new and trying to gel. Love, Irving, and Waiters have zero experience in big games or playoffs. Let me re-word that, most of the key players of this team with the exception from Marion, Miller, Jones, and LBJ have no championship experience. That’s why they struggling because of the expectations. Let’s add the new, inexperienced coach in David Blatt to the mix and a rebuild in management/front office.

    LBJ deep down wants to win a title as soon as possible, then go back to MIA (kidding). But he can’t, of all people he knows how hard it is to win one. His patience is being tested because he wanted to lead a young team instead of an established team. Staying in MIA could have given him a 3rd title. Take Wade out of the equation because of health but making CB the second guy, a healthy McRoberts and Granger, Napier (growing slowly), Chalmers (resurfacing), Shawne Williams has been playing consistent. With LBJ this is another championship team.

    All in all, give CLE time. They won’t beat SA just yet in a 7 game series. I can see CLE winning a title in the next 2 years if the 3 guys stay healthy and may be add another piece. Especially the 2nd unit. Waiters can make good trade bait.

  3. Its a long season and i believe cavs will still make it to the nba finals. Lebron james is a winner and he’ll prove it !

  4. Joel says:

    Missed Chalmers yet? All the best LeBron

  5. Indiana'sownLarryBird says:

    I was interested to see how they would come out and play the next game, after a good game against the Champs, and they played horrible. When the Cav’s win Lebron scores 30 or more, when they loss he scores around 22 a game, Lebron needs to set the tone, and stop playing to others and set the tone so others play to you.

  6. Miran says:

    LeBrick will bbrrrrrick it in the playoffs

  7. Levi says:

    2010-2013 maimi plays good D… It’s dumb to think that Lebron plus 2 stars can jjust instantaneously carry the offensive load to win championships… This is exposing it… Plus chemistry so far is really bad in cleveland…

  8. verysadokcfan says:

    Compare the state of mind of OKC fans vs Cavalier fans. Cleveland, happy campers. OKC very sad atmosphere. Maybe they will get a win tonight.

  9. Kirby Record says:

    People want to call Lebeon stupid and all because he is not college educated. But take the name of what he says most of the time and it’s a hundred times more logical and more honest than 90% of the carapolla posted on sports blogs. He said it when he left Miami that it would take time and he’s saying it now. And it is probably true–and he knows that may not win a title there. What can you do but your best to win as much as you can? You tell me–fake sports fans?

  10. suki808 says:

    Yeah but in Miami they had Pat Riley pulling the strings who do they have in Cleveland the nba lol

  11. skinnyskinz says:

    As impressive as the Raps and Wizards are so far, Chicago Bulls will win the East…

  12. James Soften says:

    Anyone with the smallest basketball IQ knows the biggest problem on Cleveland is Irving.

    If he continues in the roster, Cleveland will hardly make conference semifinals.

  13. rafa says:

    everything in Cleveland not so Lebronesk right now?

  14. courtney says:

    bron os just a choking whiner he alone lost the game against the spurs at the last minute again with his turn over

  15. jr9901 says:

    Cavs aren’t gonna win anything until they acquire a defense, something they’re not even close to having now.

  16. comment says:

    Saturday game if Raptors beat them i will loose all my trust with cavs and i will root for rap from that game

  17. adam silver says:

    The Raps will beat the Cavs in the conference finals this season.

  18. dustydreamnz says:

    They’re going to struggle a while longer I reckon, they look a rabble at times. By the time they get it together, I’m picking it might be too late this season. What about the Wizards or the Raptors to win the East?

  19. KING says:

    relax, cavs will win the championship

  20. Natanael Hernandez says:

    Leflop

  21. Jay says:

    Lebron has been consistent with his views on the team and their progress. Visionaries always see the end result, and sometimes that makes them anxious. Like Tyson said, everyone has a plan, until they get punched in the face! True, true, true! They’re getting punched in the face. However, when you watch them play, he clearly is head and shoulders above his teammates in maturity, pace of game, shot selection and leadership (Although Kyrie is right there with him talent-wise). Dion Waiters is not a winner and MUST be traded!

    All those old guys they brought on are OLD! The rookie from Virginia’s gonna be good, but not yet. Varejao doesn’t play D and would be good to see him in a trade along with Waiters for… say… Kenneth Faried or another defensive minded big! Maybe even Brewer from MN for those 2 and start TT. Perhaps a 3 team deal to get Jeff Whithey from OKC as a backup?

    If Love doesn’t get the touches he wants, he may be on his way to OKC or Boston. I LOVE T. Thompson. Dudes got a motor, he’s athletic and reminds me of the Canadian version of the Davis boys from Indiana in the 90’s. Hey… Somebody hook me up with my own weekly op-ed piece. I can do this all day!!! πŸ™‚

  22. R-Dawg says:

    Lebron is a whiner. He wants to play less minutes also and is supposed to be the best player in the game. Jordan never asked to play reduced minutes. I hope the Cavs go down in flames this year.

  23. William says:

    Three All-Stars is hardly rebuilding. James wants to win by being the best athlete, not playing the best team ball or system. I have crazy respect for the incredible athlete he is. I have almost no respect for his approach to the game.

    James the athlete is eclipsed by Spurs, the team.

  24. LeBron is impatient he has Love, Kobe have Hill.

  25. Diabolic says:

    The Cavs would be monsters if they would learn how to play defense. They have plenty of offensive weapons and no shortage of talent. Some better defense and a deeper bench would do miracles for them. A true center would be a nice touch aswell. I’m still not too worried about them though. You can’t ever count a team out that has LeBron James playing for them. I sure hope they can get their act together before it really starts to count, they still have some time to make the much needed adjustments.

  26. T gas TT ako says:

    just relax till the end of regulation hahaha!!!! what will happen if the cavs wont make the playoffs hmmm,, sounds really interesting

  27. Hussain says:

    A real winner would not had left miami to team up with another “big 3” to chase another ring because they lost to san antonio in the finals after reaching it 4 times in a row!!

    A real winner accepts the challenge and leads his team to the promise land and wont take the easy way out (play with Irving and Love) after loosing in the finals!!

    Dont get me wrong cause i know Lebron is a great great player and surely one of the best in the game ever but he is not the ultimate competitor like Kobe or Jordan and for me the championchips from Dirk with Dallas (only true Superstar!!) or Olajuwon with the rockets 1994 are far more impressive individually than Lebrons with Wade and Bosh in Miami!!

  28. NBA fan says:

    This year the Cavs will be in the playoffs, and perhaps the Eastern Conference finals. After that, the sky’s the limit.

    • mario says:

      lebron,became a KING with the heat,but the king defeated,HEAT improving every day ,chalmer,bosh,williams,col,
      leave a winner team to go with another without future and another already leaders inside ,It was a very bad decision on james,i sure he regrets now ,he will no say that,but mistakes some times are expensive