Miami in 2010, but it could be a long time before they’re competing 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.”
That’s easier said than done, but Cleveland still has some talent 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.
It’s a new, yet familiar role for Love, who was Minnesota’s franchise player before he was traded to Cleveland and joined forces with James and Kyrie Irving. Four years ago, Love stood side by side with James and Irving on media day as the Cavs’ “Big Three” were introduced to the world before embarking on a journey that led to a title in 2016.
That run seemed more of a distant memory on Monday as Love smiled and posed next to Lue and rookie guard Collin Sexton. And perhaps as a nod to his former teammate, Love wore a pair of James’ signature sneakers.
He certainly won’t try to fill his shoes.
Love, like all the Cavs, will have to adjust his game now that James isn’t around. But that doesn’t mean Love will revert to being the bruising big man he was with the Timberwolves.
“I’m 30 now, so I don’t know if he’s still there,” Love said when asked if he could play like the younger version of himself. “Will there be nights when my stats are gaudy? It’s very, very likely. This will be a new chapter for all of us, and I think we’ve very excited.”