NBA Report: Cavs' Brown has no issues with Kyrie's goal

BY foxsports • October 1, 2013

INDEPENDENCE, Ohio -- Kyrie Irving began his third season in the NBA by saying he wants to be "the best player in this league.”

Cleveland Cavaliers coach Mike Brown wants that for Irving, too.

“We’ve talked about it,” Brown said after the Cavs’ first day of training camp Tuesday. “He understands that it’s a process.”

Irving is 6-foot-3 point guard. He was named Rookie of the Year in 2012 and played in his first All-Star Game last season. He also led the Cavs in scoring (22.5 points per game) and assists (5.7), and won the 3-point shooting contest.

Offensively, there are few things Irving cannot do with the ball. Defensively, well, that should improve under Brown.

But in order to be mentioned among best of the best, you have to start by winning some games. That’s something the Cavs haven’t done enough of in Irving’s two seasons, finishing last in the Central Division both times.

Irving seems to understand that.

“I’m the leader of this team, and I’m ready to take responsibility for it by helping us make the playoffs,” he said. “This is the best I’ve ever felt coming into a season.”

That right there is what it takes, according to Brown.

“(Becoming the NBA’s best player) doesn’t just happen during the regular season,” Brown said. “It happens during the offseason.”

So far, so good for second-time Cavs coach Brown and his new staff -- which includes the likes of former head coaches Bernie Bickerstaff and Jim Boylan.

“(Irving) had a pretty good first offseason for us,” Brown said. “He’s got to continue to grow in that area if he’s to accomplish what he says he wants to accomplish.”

Brown should know. He’s already coached some all-time greats in Miami’s LeBron James (in Brown’s first Cleveland stint) and Kobe Bryant (with the Los Angeles Lakers).

As for Irving implying he wants to be on that all-time-great level, Brown has no issues with it.

“I believe he truly believes it's what he wants to do,” Brown said. “If he believes that, I’m all for it. Keep showing it to me.”

Double Dribbles

• Brown said the first day of practice “went OK” and the Cavs, for the most part, appeared focused. “One of the things I’d like to get accomplished here is to teach guys to embrace being uncomfortable,” he said. “There’s a lot of teaching, a lot of standing and I thought they did a decent job of trying to stay locked in.”

• One of the more interesting training camp battles is the fight for the starting small forward spot. Newcomer Earl Clark and holdover Alonzo Gee are the top candidates. “I've got to earn it,” Clark said. “I've had to earn everything in my career so it's nothing new to me.”

• Clark, of course, played for Brown with the Lakers in 2011-12.

• Former Cavs Daniel Gibson, Luke Walton, Drew Gooden (most recently with the Milwaukee Bucks), Sebastian Telfair (Toronto Raptors) and Sasha Pavlovic (Portland Trail Blazers) are among the veterans who have not yet found an NBA home at the start of training camp. Neither have Lamar Odom (L.A. Clippers) and Richard Hamilton (Chicago Bulls).

• When asked if he’s installed any offense yet, the defensive-minded Brown smiled. “Hold that question for a few days,” he said. “We’ll get there soon enough. We’re putting in a couple sets tonight so we can have something to defend.”

Twitter: @SamAmicoFSO

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