The phrase “players-only meeting” is never a great thing to hear in the NBA, but it can be healthy for a team to air out concerns. The season is only a day underway, and already LeBron James is displeased with what he sees as a lack of focus in the Cavaliers’ locker room. Chris Haynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports that the Cavs addressed the issues in a meeting during training camp:
James wasn’t the only one who noticed something didn’t feel right about the team’s demeanor. Other players saw it too, prompting a team meeting before they took off for an exhibition game at Toronto on Oct. 17.
“[We were] just making sure everybody is doing the right thing and having the right goals in their heads,” the Cavs’ Sasha Kaun said of that meeting.
Players, I’m told, spoke up about not liking what some considered to be a increasingly loose, frolicsome atmosphere. James, I’m told, chimed in on the need to straighten up. Guidelines were given and a renewed commitment was established.
The weight of the world is on James’ shoulders. He knows how much a championship would mean to the city of Cleveland. The Cavaliers may have the talent and depth to contend, but unless they approach the season the right way, the amount of quality players won’t mean a thing.
“All I care about is raising banners,” James told Northeast Ohio Media Group. “Nothing else. That’s what I’m here for.”
More than ever before in his career, James is conscious of his own mortality. His back has already been giving him issues, and it’s likely only one or two more years that his body can physically hold up to playing at the level he’s been playing at. There’s no more room to screw around if they want to win a title before the window closes. That’s the message he’s sending.