CLEVELAND — Appearing very relaxed and confident, LeBron James took the politically correct approach Wednesday afternoon at Quicken Loans Arena.
“Right now, I’m focused on right now,” the 6-foot-8, 250-pounder said when asked about possibly returning to the Cavaliers, the team his Miami Heat squad was to face later that night. “I don’t really get involved in the road ahead. As a team, right now we’re focused on trying to defend our championship.”
The 28-year-old James, who can opt out of his contract with Miami and become an unrestricted free agent following the 2013-14 season, was extremely cordial and gave lengthy answers while surrounded by about 30 media members, most of them from Northeast Ohio.
When asked what kind of reception he expected in his fourth appearance at The Q as a member of the Heat, James said, “It can’t get no worse than Year 1. Dec. 2, 2010, it can’t get no worse than that, so I’ll be all right.”
Some Cavs fans will never forgive James for leaving the franchise after seven seasons, while others are eager to take him back. Still others are tired of the whole storyline and don’t care much either way.
When asked whether he thought Cleveland fans had moved on, James, an Akron native, said, “I haven’t spent much time in Cleveland. I’m back home in the summertime. Back home has always kind of been different.
“I have no idea. I would hope (they’ve moved on). (The Cavs) have got some really good pieces here, too, and they’re trying to move on as well.”
One of those pieces is All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving, currently out with a sprained shoulder.
“He’s unbelievable,” James said. “He’s a centerpiece to build around.”
For seven years and the first two if his three MVP seasons — he’ll likely win a fourth this year — James was that centerpiece.
“A lot of memories come back, of course,” he said about being back in The Q. “I’ve had some really good games here. As a team, we played some really good games. A lot of memories come back.”
Contact Rick Noland at (330) 721-4061 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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