The Boys are Back in Town

New-Look Cavaliers Tip Off Training Camp on Media Day
by Joe Gabriele
Cavs.com Managing Editor


The Boys are Back in Town

New-Look Cavaliers Tip Off Training Camp on Media Day

Normally, when LeBron James makes his Media Day appearance after an NBA offseason, there’s a burning question – maybe two – waiting for the King. On Monday, James had so many issues to address, he ran down a table of contents and instructed reporters to exhaust each one before he moved on to the next.

Yes, the Cavaliers are coming off their third straight trip to the Finals and yes, they made one of the biggest deals in franchise history over the summer. But after a heated weekend that saw pro athletes and the President of the United States squaring off over National Anthem protests – as well as the Warriors’ non-visit to the White House – Monday afternoon took a political twist.

Without actually calling him by name for most of the presser, LeBron defended his weekend tweets aimed at the embattled POTUS.

”It’s so amazing what sports can do for everyone – no matter the shape or size or race or ethnicity or religion,” said James. “People find players, people find teams, people find colors because of sport, and it makes them so happy and it brings people together like none other. And while I have this platform, I’m not gonna let one individual – no matter the power, no matter the impact he or she should have – ever use sport as a platform to divide us.”

LeBron also addressed another division that took place before Monday’s unofficial start to the season – the one that sent Kyrie Irving to the Celtics in exchange for new mates, Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder and Ante Zizic.

James, who seemed genuinely perplexed by Irving’s trade request, but wished his former teammate the best of luck in Beantown.

“I tried to give (Irving) everything and as much of the DNA as I could,” shrugged the four-time MVP. “And like I told you guys throughout (last) season, when he was ready to take the keys, I was ready to give them to him. So, the only thing I’m upset about is that he took part of that DNA and blueprint with him up to Boston. Other than that, I wish the kid great health. The kid wanted to do what was best for his career and I give credit to our GM and ownership for granting that for him.”

Isaiah Thomas poses during 2017 Media Day powered by FirstEnergy on September 25, 2017 from Cleveland Clinic Courts.
Photo by Joe Sykes/Cavs.com

But Monday’s main event was about more than a tumultuous weekend of tweets and Kyrie’s departure. In fact, it was more a welcome party than an airing of grievances.

Isaiah Thomas – who’ll be rehabbing his injured hip through Camp and who the Wine & Gold expect to have back in the lineup before the end of the calendar year – made his first appearance in the Cavaliers’ new wine uniform. But the much of the media also got their first look at Derrick Rose, Jae Crowder, Jeff Green, Cedi Osman, Jose Calderon and Ante Zizic.

Rose – who’ll get the lion’s share of minutes at the point while Thomas recovers – made his first public appearance in Independence since signing as a free agent in late July.

”(Getting back to winning) is very exciting and that’s one of the reasons I chose to come here,” said the former MVP. “I’ll be happy playing basketball again and I’m back in a winning environment. Everyone in the franchise and everyone here has one common goal, and that’s to win a Championship. And that’s something I’ve wanted my whole career – to play for a Championship. So, I have a huge opportunity in front of me and I’m not shying away from it.”

It’s not a normal occurrence for a team to reach the NBA Finals in three straight seasons, and it’s even more rare to have so many new faces on said team trying to make it four straight. But the Cavaliers open Camp with a new trio of point guards and a pair of new backups for LeBron at the 3.

Jose Calderon, one of those new faces, also made his first public showing since signing with Cleveland earlier this summer.

“You see LeBron, J.R., Tristan, Kevin – they started working immediately after the season, trying to get ready and get back for another run at it."

Head Coach Tyronn Lue

”We want (Isaiah) back as soon as possible, but that’s why I’m here – to help him or D-Rose, whatever (the Cavs) need,” said the 13-year vet. “I’ll be ready for that role. I finished last year playing pretty good for the Hawks in the Playoffs. It’s a great opportunity, it’s a great place to be. We’re starting tomorrow, finally. I’ve been in Cleveland for a month now and I can’t wait to start.”

Media Day – the NBA equivalent to the first day of school – was a lighthearted affair, even with the political issues clouding the message. On Tuesday afternoon, Training Camp begins in earnest. And Coach Tyronn Lue has some major moving parts that he’ll have to make work.

The Cavaliers finished second in the Eastern Conference last year, battling through an uneven regular season in which the injury bug bit the squad all season long. Lue sees his team coming back refocused and with a new edge in the upcoming campaign.

”I think last year, making it to the Finals and coming up short, that’s motivated our team,” said Lue. “You see LeBron, J.R., Tristan, Kevin – they started working immediately after the season, trying to get ready and get back for another run at it. So, I don’t see us being complacent; I see us as being hungry and ready for the challenge.”

That challenge begins on Tuesday morning – with Cleveland’s first preseason contest slated for next Wednesday night at The Q against Atlanta. At that point, we’ll start to see how the gears fit together for another run at the Ring.

Cavs.com Goes Behind-the-Scenes at Media Day

Wonder what it's like at Media Day? Cavs.com takes you behind-the-scenes from Cleveland Clinic Courts.

2017 Media Day

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Cavs.com Goes Behind-the-Scenes at Media Day

Wonder what it's like at Media Day? Cavs.com takes you behind-the-scenes from Cleveland Clinic Courts.
Sep 25, 2017  |  01:53

LeBron James 2017 Media Day Availability

Cavaliers forward LeBron James spoke with the media from 2017 Media Day (powered by FirstEnergy) at Cleveland Clinic Courts.
Sep 25, 2017  |  42:17

Isaiah Thomas 2017 Media Day Availability

Cavaliers guard Isaiah Thomas spoke with the media from 2017 Media Day (powered by FirstEnergy) at Cleveland Clinic Courts.
Sep 25, 2017  |  12:42

Kevin Love 2017 Media Day Availability

Cavaliers forward Kevin Love spoke with the media from 2017 Media Day (powered by FirstEnergy) at Cleveland Clinic Courts.
Sep 25, 2017  |  09:43

Derrick Rose 2017 Media Day Availability

Cavaliers guard Derrick Rose spoke with the media from 2017 Media Day (powered by FirstEnergy) at Cleveland Clinic Courts.
Sep 25, 2017  |  11:49

Jae Crowder 2017 Media Day Availability

Cavaliers forward Jae Crowder spoke with the media from 2017 Media Day (powered by FirstEnergy) at Cleveland Clinic Courts.
Sep 25, 2017  |  03:53

J.R. Smith 2017 Media Day Availability

Cavaliers guard J.R. Smith spoke with the media from 2017 Media Day (powered by FirstEnergy) at Cleveland Clinic Courts.
Sep 25, 2017  |  09:43

Jose Calderon 2017 Media Day Availability

Cavaliers guard Jose Calderon spoke with the media from 2017 Media Day (powered by FirstEnergy) at Cleveland Clinic Courts.
Sep 25, 2017  |  03:20

Coach Lue 2017 Media Day Availability

Cavaliers Head Coach Tyronn Lue spoke with the media from 2017 Media Day (powered by FirstEnergy) at Cleveland Clinic Courts.
Sep 25, 2017  |  13:31

Channing Frye's Interview with CavsHQ

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Swish Stops by CavsHQ

Cavaliers guard J.R. Smith stops by the CavsHQ set to do some over/under and pick 'em.
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José Calderón Discuss Hoops with CavsHQ

CavsHQ is joined by José Calderón to discuss the start of his first season with the Wine & Gold.
Sep 25, 2017  |  03:12

Media Day in Less Than 90 Seconds

A hyperlapse video of four hours from 2017 Media Day powered by FirstEnergy.
Sep 25, 2017  |  01:16

LeBron "I would love to have D-Wade a part of this team"

LeBron James addresses a question at the Cleveland Cavaliers media day about potentially adding Dwyane Wade after being bought out by the Bulls.
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LeBron - "I Had So Many Emotions Running Through My Head"

LeBron James speaks with the media about Kyrie Irving's trade to the Boston Celtics.
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LeBron - "[I'm] Still Ready To Lead This Franchise To A Championship"

LeBron James speaks with the media about his future with the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Sep 25, 2017  |  04:37

LeBron - "We Have To Figure Out How We Can Come Together As People"

LeBron James speaks on the social media uproar surrounding President Trump's comments to Stephen Curry and NFL players.
Sep 25, 2017  |  17:22

Derrick Rose Interview with CavsHQ

Derrick Rose crashes the CavsHQ crew to discuss his thoughts on the start of the 2017-18 season.
Sep 25, 2017  |  06:49

CavsHQ Speaks with Cedi Osman

Cavaliers swingman Cedi Osman sits down to talk with CavsHQ about the upcoming campaign and his first season in the NBA.
Sep 25, 2017  |  03:39

Jeff Green Stops by CavsHQ

Cavaliers forward Jeff Green stops to talk basketball with the CavsHQ crew from 2017 Media Day powered by FirstEnergy.
Sep 25, 2017  |  02:27

Jae Crowder Joins the CavsHQ Set

Cavaliers forward Jae Crowder joins the CavsHQ set to talk about the Cavaliers upcoming season and more.
Sep 25, 2017  |  03:34

Lue: "We'll Have A Defensive Mindset To Start The Season"

NBA TV's Kristen Ledlow speaks with Cavaliers' head coach Tyronn Lue about their latest additions.
Sep 25, 2017  |  04:09

Coach Lue Talks with CavsHQ

Cavaliers Head Coach Tyronn Lue sat down with CavsHQ during Monday's Media Day powered by FirstEnergy.
Sep 25, 2017  |  06:05

LeBron James Joins the CavsHQ Set

Cavaliers forward LeBron James joins the CavsHQ set from 2017 Media Day to talk about his offseason and the upcoming campaign.
Sep 25, 2017  |  05:41

Thomas: "I'll Be Back To Dropping 30 Points A Night"

NBA TV's Kristen Ledlow speaks with the Cavaliers' recent addition, Isaiah Thomas, at Cleveland's media day.
Sep 25, 2017  |  05:05

Tristan Thompson Catches Up with CavsHQ

Cavaliers center Tristan Thompson joins the CavsHQ set during 2017 Media Day powered by FirstEnergy.
Sep 25, 2017  |  06:01

Isaiah Thomas Sits Down with CavsHQ

Cavaliers guard Isaiah Thomas sits down with CavsHQ during 2017 Media Day powered by FirstEnergy.
Sep 25, 2017  |  07:12