LeBron James returned to the Cleveland Cavaliers on a mission to bring a championship to Northeast Ohio.
AKRON, Ohio -- LeBron James is a man on a mission.
James returned to the Cleveland Cavaliers with one mission: to bring an NBA championship to a city that has endured a 50-year title drought, and that is what drives him every time he steps onto the court.
"On the court, that's what means the most to me," James said at the 'Welcome Home LeBron' rally at InfoCision Stadium in Akron Friday night. "It's my drive. It's my only drive, and obviously, I understand that it's going to be a process. I've returned home, but it's a different situation than when I left it. When I left, we had been through the grind. We had been through the struggles. We had lost. We had won. We never got to the mountaintop, but we'd been through so much.
"This is different. There's so many great pieces on the team, but none of the guys, besides Andy (Varejao), have been in pressure games in the NBA. I'm going to have to teach, and lead and inspire those guys, but my No. 1 goal is to win a championship here. I think it will be the greatest accomplishment in my life, as far as on the court. That's my goal. I've been back in 'the lab.' When I get focused, I really go in, so I'm looking forward to the challenge."
Since James made his decision to come back to Cleveland over the last 48 hours of his annual Skills Academy camp in Las Vegas, the Cavaliers have added veteran guard/forward Mike Miller and guard James Jones, both of whom teamed with James in Miami, and drafted forward Andrew Wiggins with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft.
Even though the Cavaliers have added pieces, James believes winning a championship is "still a process" that requires much work and dedication.
"Even in my first year in Miami, we went through a process and went through some tough times," James said. "We were 9-8 at one time, and things didn't look like they were going to get right. We figured it out, but we still ended up losing in The Finals, but I feel like that catapulted us to winning back-to-back championships.
"Even with the veterans we've brought in, even if we're able to acquire Kevin Love two weeks from now, it's still going to be a process. I know that first hand. It was a process when I was here in Cleveland to even get to The Finals in '07. It's going to be a challenge for us. In order to be successful, you've got to have some pitfalls."
By returning to the Cavaliers, James will be playing for a rookie head coach in David Blatt, who made his reputation by winning multiple championships while coaching various teams all across Europe. After researching the Cavaliers' new bench boss, James is committed to helping him win a championship in the NBA.
"I think Coach is going to be great," James said. "The first thing I did when I decided to come back was I went online and I looked up David Blatt's offense because I heard he was an offensive guy. I watched all of his clips from him coaching in Maccabi, and broke them down to see how I could fit. I could fit in every position on the floor."