LeBron James predicted that this season could be more challenging than winning his first NBA title in 2012. With Anderson Varejao, Kevin Love and now Kyrie Irving out of the season, James looks like he was right: His Cleveland Cavaliers now have to overcome daunting odds to win the NBA Finals.
“I said it’s going to be one of the most challenging seasons of my career from the beginning, and this just adds on to it,” James said prior to the Cavaliers’ practice on Saturday at Oracle Arena. “You know, we’re undermanned right now. But we’ve got guys in the locker room that are ready for the challenge, and we look forward to the challenge tomorrow night.”
Irving had season-ending surgery from a fractured left knee cap on Saturday in Cleveland and is expected to be out three-to-four months. The All-Star suffered the injury during the NBA Finals opener on Thursday.
With Cleveland’s other two stars now sidelined, James appears to be in a situation similar to when he and the Cavaliers were swept by the San Antonio during his first Finals appearance in 2007.
“It’s a tough pill to swallow,” James said. “Obviously, we’ve been in this situation, but we always knew at some point he’ll come back. Knowing that [Irving is] out for the rest of the Finals and out for a period of a long time … first of all, it sucks for him personally. It’s a huge blow for our team, especially at this stage.
“You want to try to be as close to full strength as possible throughout these games, especially when you’re going against a worthy opponent like we’re facing. So it’s a tough situation for our team, and guys have to pick up in his absence.”
Source: Yahoo News