LeBron James wary of loser mentality at Cleveland Cavaliers

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It wasn't supposed to be like this. LeBron James was supposed to return to Cleveland to a heroes welcome and lead his home state team on a glorious run to the NBA title.

But while the first part played out fine, with forgiveness and jersey sales dominating the story of LeBron's home coming, the Cavaliers are already going through their first blip in just the second week of the 2014-15 season.

Suffering a blowout defeat the Portland Trail Blazers on Tuesday night the team have now lost two of their opening three games and James himself pinpointed one of the major stumbling blocks to Cleveland's success - laying much of the blame on some of the franchise's longer serving players and their lack of meaningful experience.

Losing basketball

"There's been a lot of losing basketball around here for a few years."

Much of the damage in the Cavs' 101-82 loss to the Trail Blazers came in the latter stages of the game, with Portland outscoring LeBron and co by 70-48 in the final three quarters, and James is demanding the team take on the clutch game required to be a title contender.

"There's been a lot of losing basketball around here for a few years," LeBron told reporters post-game.

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"A lot of guys who are going to help us ultimately win haven't played a lot of meaningful games in our league.

"When we get to that point where every possession matters, no possessions off...we have to share the ball, we have to move the ball, we've got to be a team and be unselfish and we'll be a better team."

Breaking with tradition

The Cavaliers failed to make the playoffs in any of the four seasons following LeBron's departure to Miami in 2010 and that means the likes of All-Star talent Kyrie Irving and fellow key figure Dion Waiters and have no playoff experience - the same can be said of fellow big name arrival Kevin Love.

With the franchise having been wallowing around the bottom end of the league for the past few seasons they have never had the pressure that must-win end of season basketball brings. It is that never-say-die attitude James is clearly yearning for.

Prior to the season getting underway LeBron made it clear that the newly put together Cavs needed to lose some games in order to become a better team unit, but after two defeats in the space of seven days it's clear the novelty value is wearing thin on the former Miami Heat man.

Moving on

The Cavaliers struggled on defense last night while Irving shot a miserable 3-of-17 and LeBron is desperate for his new teammates to understand that it is team work, not individual stats, that create a winning team.

It was always going to take some time for the new roster to gel but at least the benefit of an 82-game regular-season means that the Cavaliers have plenty of time to get things right before the game really do become truly "meaningful."

LeBron James
Cleveland Cavaliers

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