“I will lead this team, but I don’t have to carry it,” James said Wednesday at Cleveland’s shootaround, via ESPN. “We have enough guys until all our guys get here.
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“Until Kyrie (Irving) and Tristan (Thompson) and (Iman Shumpert) is ready, we have enough guys that will all help. It’s not about me carrying the team and that nature. We’re all grown men, we’re all professionals and they’re here to do their job.”
Regarding the three players James specifically mentioned, though, the prospects of their returns are much less clear.
Blatt indicated Irving will not be ready for the season opener on Oct. 27 against the Chicago Bulls. The Cavaliers are expected to be extremely cautious with their superstar point guard, and reports in the offseason suggested it’s possible he could be out until January.
Shumpert, meanwhile, ruptured the extensor carpi ulnaris sheath in his right wrist that required surgery. He is expected to be out for up to three and a half months.
Still, James insists the Cavs have what it takes to get things done early on.
“And until we’re whole, we still won’t understand it as a full unit,” he said. “But we’ll approach the game as we should and our coaching staff is going to prepare us the best way every night to be ready for anything, both on and off the floor.”