LeBron says 'I stink' for his role in Cavs' woes
LeBron James isn't backing away from his part in the Cavaliers' early-season struggles.
"We've lost four in a row, so I stink," James said from the team's shootaround Monday morning. "I'm not doing my part."
The Cavs (5-7) will try to snap their recent skid Monday at home against the Orlando Magic (6-9).
James returned to the team that drafted him after four years -- and four straight Finals appearances -- with the Miami Heat. He said at the time he felt the Cavs would face some obstacles early, and that he would be challenged. Three weeks into the season, he is finding that to be true.
Even after adding James, Kevin Love and coach David Blatt to a cast that already included Kyrie Irving, Anderson Varejao and others, the Cavs haven't been able to pull it together. But while James had some harsh criticism for himself, and called the Cavs "fragile" after a loss to the Toronto Raptors, he is also aware that Cleveland wasn't built in a day.
"The problem is everyone wants overnight success and no one wants to work for it," he said recently. "You put in the hard work, you get satisfaction for it later."
James also predicted Saturday that this is likely not even the lowest the Cavs will go. He reminded that things could still take time to develop, and it could get even uglier.
He has won four NBA MVPs and two championships, so he knows where a turnaround will begin and who takes a big part of the blame if things aren't working.
"Me being the leader of the team, if I start hanging my head then it's going to start going to everyone else," he said Monday. "They look up to me. They look to me to make a difference and I've got to stay positive even through the rough times.
"As I've said before, this is not the darkest point that we'll see this year. I've seen dark and this is very light to me."
James was named Eastern Conference Player of the Week last Monday -- but averaged an uncharacteristic 18 points per game over the previous four games, and lost the ball in the final seconds of a close defeat to San Antonio.