The Cleveland Cavaliers made some waves at the NBA tradeline by gutting their roster in a series of surprising trades that fetched mostly younger players in return.
The results have been better than anyone expected and have seemed to turn the struggling Cavs around, so much though that fans betting on sports are now starting to re-consider Cleveland as contenders.
“It’s a challenge, man,” James said, according to Bleacher Report. “It’s very challenging. Especially for me, being someone who likes chemistry and having things in order.”
James seems refocused, refreshed and re-energized by the trades and has taken a leadership role.
James also talks about how these moves remind him of a series of moves back in 2008 that saw the Cavs bring in veterans to help a young James.
“Vets have seen more,” James said, reflecting on the 2008 trades. “They’ve experienced more. Ben Wallace had won a championship before he came over. Wally [Szczerbiak] had been an All-Star and played in big games in Minnesota with Kevin Garnett. Joe Smith was the No. 1 pick in the draft and played in some big games as well.
“Now, we’re learning on the fly. Jordan [Clarkson] and Larry [Nance] have never played in a playoff game. George [Hill] has been in some big games, and Rodney [Hood] had his first taste last year, but yeah… we’ll see what happens.”
“We’re still trying to learn certain looks and certain calls,” Nance said.
“There are times where I’ll switch out and still call ‘red’—that’s a Lakers call. It’s little things like that. You have to get acclimated to the nuances and tendencies.
“It’s like training camp, but for four of us. We’re trying to catch up and everyone else is waiting for us to catch up. I think we’re doing a pretty good job of it, but we’re learning on the fly. To be honest with you, I’m enjoying the heck out of it.”
“I’ve never moved to a new team in the middle of a season,” veteran Cavs guard George Hill told Bleacher Report. “I’m a veteran, but to me it’s all new. Thankfully, LeBron’s been the captain here—being very vocal, communicating on both ends of the floor, and in practice when we’re trying to figure things out.”
“Trades happen,” James said. “You’re trying to make adjustments, and when you have an opportunity to win…the organization thought it 10 years ago, and they thought it again this year. I’m the lone survivor that’s seen them both. I just have to try to make things happen.”