LeBron James on playing with Lance Stephenson, Mario Chalmers
Today, prior to their match-up against the Minnesota Timberwolves inside Quicken Loans Arena, the NBA’s defending champion Cleveland Cavaliers worked out several players whom they feel could fill their needs at various positions.
Some of the players who were invited to work out in Cleveland today have quite a history with LeBron James, including Lance Stephenson, Mario Chalmers, and Kirk Hinrich. Today, ESPN’s Dave McMenamin reports that The King is supportive of the Cavaliers’ midseason camp, but does not favor any one player in particular.
I got a history with all those guys except Jordan (Farmar),” James said after shootaround today. “I got a history with Lance too, obviously. I got a history versus Kirk. I played him in a lot of playoff series. And I got a history with Rio (Chalmers). At the end of the day, Rio is recovering from his Achilles tear. I hope he’s been doing everything he needs to do just to get back on the floor. He loves to play the game.”
“I’m a supporter of what this franchise wants to do, no matter what it’s doing. But my focus right now is to get our guys playing championship-level basketball.”
As most basketball fans know, James and Chalmers played four seasons together as members of the Miami Heat, where Chalmers served as the team’s primary point guard. Over the course of their time in Miami, James and Chalmers led the Heat to four NBA Finals appearances and two NBA championships. Chalmers, who is recovering from an Achilles injury he sustained while playing with the Memphis Grizzlies in March, has career averages of 9.0 points, 3.8 assists, and 1.5 steals per game. James spoke about the brotherhood that he and Chalmers developed.
There’s a brotherhood that we’ve built,” James said. “I stayed in touch with pretty much everybody I played with in Miami.”
Stephenson, who is often thought of as an instigator, will be forever remembered for blowing in James’ ear during a game. When Stephenson was with the Indiana Pacers and James with the Heat, the two squared off in the playoffs three consecutive seasons (2012-2014). Stephenson played six games for the New Orleans Pelicans this season before suffering a groin injury, which forced the Pelicans to later waive him. The savvy defenseman averaged 9.7 points, 4.8 assists, and 3 rebounds this season before needing groin surgery.
All things considered, it seems James would have no issues suiting up with any of the players who were invited to today’s work-out session.
I just want to win, man,” James said after shootaround. “That’s all that matters to me. I got no personal problems with nobody.”
McMenamin adds that the Cavs had the candidates run two-on-two and three-on-three drills in the halfcourt, along with some four-on-four full-court situations as Cleveland’s coaching staff looked on in evaluation.
Which (if any) of today’s invitees might the Cavs be most interested in can only be speculated on at this point. However, one thing is to be sure, Cleveland’s search for a playmaker has a full head of steam.