Cavaliers' LeBron calls training camp worst of his career
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[November 02, 2017]
By Frank Pingue
(Reuters) - Cleveland Cavaliers forward
LeBron James experienced the worst training camp of his stellar
career due to an ankle injury and is not surprised by his team's
lackluster start to the NBA season, he said on Wednesday.
James said the injury which kept him out of all but one of his
team's five pre-season games denied him a chance to properly prepare
a revamped Cavs team many expected would roll into the NBA Finals in
June for a fourth consecutive year.
"This was probably the worst training camp for me in my career
because of the injury," the three-times NBA champion said ahead of
Wednesday's home game against the Indiana Pacers.
"I didn't get an opportunity to do the things that I like to do and
with the summer that I had, I kind of had a setback."
The most glaring issue with the Cavs, who are 3-4 on the season
after dropping three consecutive games, has been their struggles
when it comes to playing transition defense.
And while the NBA's regular season started a week earlier than
normal and the pre-season was shortened to accommodate the switch,
James was not about to blame the calendar.
"I was kind of already behind the eight ball, so it didn't matter if
it was a shortened pre-season or not with the injury that I had
personally," he said.
"So I'm not sure. We know that the season kind of started earlier.
Everybody was kind of a little bit off rhythm for a little bit. But
we're into now so it's not much of an excuse."
[to top of second column]
Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James (23) shoots over the
defense of New York Knicks guard Courtney Lee (5) during the second
half at Quicken Loans Arena, Oct 29, 2017; Cleveland, OH, USA. The
Knicks won 114-95. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports
The Cavs made a number of off-season moves in a bid to topple the
Golden State Warriors, who have won two of the last three NBA
Finals, by adding experience and talent at the risk of becoming an
older team with injury concerns.
James suggested that his failure to be present on the court could
help explain why the team's chemistry has been slow to develop.
"Training camp has always been like my favorite point in the season,
it sounds weird, but to be able to get back into it, get the team
going, having that camaraderie, getting back on the floor, getting
that system back in place," James said.
"For me to be in and out and much more out that in and to be able to
implement what I do, especially with seven new guys, that kind of
(Reporting by Frank Pingue in Toronto, editing by Ed Osmond)
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