Cavs Go Camping

Rookie guard Kyrie Irving speaks with the media following the first day of Camp.

On Friday afternoon, the waiting was over and with the new CBA signed, sealed and delivered, it was finally time to lace ‘em up.

Coach Byron Scott had almost a full complement of players for Day 1 of training camp – with top picks Kyrie Irving and Tristan Thompson taking part in their first Cavs practice.

With only one week until their first exhibition game in Detroit – and less than three weeks remaining until the regular season opener – the Wine and Gold will have to pack a lot of learning into a short window. And they’ll be working through the weekend at Cleveland Clinic Courts.

Here are some notes from the tip-off to training camp …

  • Earlier in the day, Coach Scott talked about toning down his notorious tough training camp – dubbed last year as “Camp Scott.”

    “’Camp Scott’ has to be a little like ‘Camp Soft’ to start,” quipped the Cavs coach. “I can’t be the normal guy that I normally am at training camp. I obviously have to modify my training camp because of the fact that we don’t know what kind of shape these guys are in. And that’s the exciting part for me – to see where they are at the end of the day.”

    When the team’s first practice wrapped up, Cleveland’s head coach revisited his decision.

    “Normally, training camp for me is to kill them to see where they are,” said Scott. “That usually works. I find out, very soon, which guys came in shape and which guys didn’t. But today was more of ‘let’s continue to build up every day and get in better condition.’ Every day we’ll add a little bit more and I think if we continue to do it in that fashion, guys’ll stay in pretty good condition.”

  • One of the young players Coach will try to get in shape is big man, Semih Erden, who was still in a cast with a left thumb injury.

    “I asked Dr. Parker, ‘Since it’s his thumb, his legs are OK, right?’” said Scott. “That means he can get up and down the floor and be ready, so when his cast does comes off, that he doesn’t miss a lot of time where he has to get into shape. So as long as we can keep him in shape or get him in better shape, when that thing is off, hopefully he’s ready to go.”

  • Earlier on Friday, the Cavaliers announced the signing of their rookie duo, Kyrie Irving and Tristan Thompson. The No. 1 and No. 4 overall picks got their first dose of “Camp Scott” …

    Thompson talked about the expectations that he’ll face in his first year.

    “I think my expectation is pretty clear – get better every day,” said Thompson. “Coach Scott preaches that and Mr. Grant preaches that every day. Just try to get better. Don’t try to do too much; be yourself and play your game.”

  • Irving spoke about finding his place on the Wine and Gold and his potential point guard relationship between him and veteran Baron Davis.

    “First, I have to earn my spot on this team and just show the guys that I can actually be out there with them and be a secondary leader as a point guard on this team,” said the former Duke star. “Whether Baron’s here, I’ll learn under him and we’ll play together at times. I think Coach Scott will make the adjustments.”

  • Baron Davis – who went through his physical and some running drills before a sore back flared up – was part of the mutual admiration society.

    “Whatever I can do to impart my knowledge on (Irving),” explained Davis. “It would be great for me to see him, years from now when I’m sitting on the couch with my kids and say, ‘Hey, I used to play with that kid!’

    “I’ve always had that effect on young point guards and to have one that I can play on the same team with, it’s a joy to me.”

    And the veteran point guard defused any questions about his future with the Cavaliers.

    “I’m living in the present,” said No. 85. “I love Cleveland, I love the fans, I love my teammates and this organization has been a great organization for me and my transition. I just appreciate each and every moment that I’m here working out in these facilities and being with my teammates. And that’s really what I’m going to focus on. And that’s all I can control.”

    The Wine and Gold will continue Camp on Saturday with one session before doing a two-a-day on Sunday.