Once LeBron James made the decision to return to the Cavaliers, the recruiting of his former teammates who could fill the role of veteran sharpshooters began to take place.
Mike Miller is the one who statistically is likely to have the biggest impact, but James Jones was added, as well.
If nothing else, the pair can help James lead a young team with zero playoff experience through the tangled web of traveling an entire NBA season with targets figuratively placed on its players’ chests.
The expectations on any LeBron-led team are for a championship to be within reach, and Miller, speaking at his introductory press conference in Cleveland on Wednesday, acknowledged it — while admitting that the game isn’t necessarily as fun when that’s the case.
“LeBron makes things easy, but it’s also about what this organization is about,” said a suited Miller at Cleveland Clinic Courts. “Cleveland is a hard-working city, and winning a championship takes a lot of hard work. It’s a blessing and we’re excited about the opportunity.
“It’s going to be crazy this year and we understand that. ‘Championship or bust’ makes basketball not as fun as it should be, but [a championship] is our goal.”
Miller’s right, in that the scrutiny that comes over the long grind of the regular season can be grating, especially if the team should get off to a slower-than-expected start, or find itself in the middle of any type of losing streak.
LeBron and his former (and now current) teammates have been through that fire, and that experience will be helpful, especially with guys like Kyrie Irving and Dion Waiters who at times haven’t handled the pressure from the media with all that much grace.
While the journey may not be that enjoyable at times due to the pressure to succeed, the payoff, of course, comes at the end of the season — provided the Cavaliers make it to the Finals, and live up to those championship expectations.