LeBron James backs players Cavs' bringing in for open workouts
LeBron James is giving a thumbs-up to the Cleveland Cavaliers’ creativity in solving their backup point guard problem by holding a mid-season minicamp.
Cleveland is bringing in veteran free agent guards Mario Chalmers, Kirk Hinrich and Jordan Farmar, in addition to Lance Stephenson, for a workout Wednesday afternoon.
James told reporters that he wouldn’t pick a personal favorite and has no problems playing with either an ex-foe or a former teammate. ESPN.com’s Dave McMenamin has more from today’s practice:
“I got a history with all those guys except Jordan,” James said after shootaround Wednesday, as the Cavs prepared for their game against the Minnesota Timberwolves. “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.”
James played four seasons in Miami with Chalmers as the Heat’s primary starting point guard. They reached four Finals and won two championships together. Chalmers, a nine-year veteran, has career averages of 9 points, 3.8 assists and 1.5 steals. He suffered an Achilles injury while playing for the Memphis Grizzlies last March.
“There’s a brotherhood that we’ve built,” James said, when asked if he has kept tabs on Chalmers during his rehab. “I stayed in touch with pretty much everybody I played with in Miami.”
Stephenson was an instigator on those Indiana Pacers teams that the Heat faced in the playoffs for three consecutive postseasons, from 2012 to 2014, and he gained notoriety for his antics to try to get under James’ skin, including blowing in the superstar’s ear during game play.
Would James have a problem teaming up with his former foe?
“I just want to win, man,” James said. “That’s all that matters to me. I got no personal problems with nobody.”