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What LeBron had done to the Cavs


PhilBoxing.com


img src="http://philboxing.com/news/pix/lue.and.love.300w.jpg">

Poor Cleveland Cavaliers, abandoned by their hero of the past four years of campaign that saw them bagged one NBA championship and made the finals three times, they started their 2k19 season with the traditional media day on Monday sans the glitter that attended similar affairs in recent years.

Ohio?s favourite native son Lebron James left for the Los Angeles Lakers during the off-season and everything went with him.

What remained of the 2016 champion Cavs and the remnants of the 2015, 2017 and 2018 runners up squads were there contented in posing for pictures with loyal fans, selfies and signing autographs. Without James the event lacked the shining star that illuminated the Cavs? recent past.

Nothing to celebrate, really. No drama and there were empty expectations as the team?s future in the coming season which raises its curtains middle of next month.

"I'm still here," coach Tyronn Lue said in jest as he entered the Cleveland Clinic Courts, site of the affair, in his effort to ease the situation.

The Cavs began life without LeBron on Monday, attending their first official gathering since the superstar migrated to Los Angeles Lakers this summer that ended what many perceived was the greatest run in franchise history.

Without James, Cleveland is now reduced from an elite team and title contender to one, still may believe, too, not worthy enough to make the playoffs.

Lue though doesn't believe the Cavs are starting over.

"No tanking," he quipped as quoted by media. "Start from what we have and build from that. Not a rebuild at all. It's a challenge for all of us, something different with LeBron gone but we're up for the challenge."

The Cavs likely won't regress to where they did when James bolted for Miami in 2010, but they, certainly need a long time before they can compete for a championship.

"When you have the best player in the world who has dominated this game for the last 12 or 13 years in LeBron, it's always tough to lose a player like that," Lue said. "But moving forward, talking to (owner) Dan (Gilbert) and how he sees us building and approaching this season of being a playoff team.

"That's our goal and that's what we want to do. We want to win and continue to get better, and develop our younger players while winning games."

Easier said than done although Cleveland still possesses the talents led by All-Star forward Kevin Love, who signed a four-year, $120 million contract extension this summer and is now the Cavs' best player and No. 1 offensive option.

A new, yet familiar role for Love, who was Minnesota's marquee player before he was traded to Cleveland and joined forces with James and Kyrie Irving four years when he stood side by side with the duo as the Cavs' version of the "Big Three" that rewarded a title in 2016 that ened the franchise?s 52-year championship draught.

While James is gone, reminders of him hang inside Cleveland Clinic Courts, where one wall is lined with Central Division and Eastern Conference championship banners.

It might be some time before the Cavs contend for another, but while he may have lost the best player he'll ever coach, Lue isn't convinced there's a better team in the East.

"We haven't lost yet, have we?" he said.


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Eddie Alinea.


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