After losing his fifth NBA Finals, LeBron James is on a mission to avenge this loss and dethrone the Golden State Warriors this season.
The four-time MVP has spent much of the summer working out and preparing himself for another run to the finals.
This process began just days after the Warriors secured their second championship in three years as he took to Instagram to post a workout video.
His quest for another ring will begin in less than three weeks as the Cleveland Cavaliers open up their campaign with a tasty home encounter against their former point guard Kyrie Irving and the Boston Celtics.
But the team’s preparation for that game started this week as they reported back for training camp after a typically long offseason.
With LeBron about to embark on his 15th year in the league at the age of 32, head coach Tyronn Lue has been surprised by how he has looked in their first practice session back.
“He seems younger,” Lue said. “I call him ‘Benjamin Button.’ He seems younger, he just seems happier with the game right now, just having fun. Enjoying the game. Hopefully it carries on for 82 games and into the playoffs.”
The King will turn 33 in December and is aiming for an eighth straight finals appearance in June and fourth in succession with the Cavaliers.
Despite a summer of uncertainty with the franchise which began with the firing of general manager David Griffin and the loss of Irving, LBJ is as determined as ever and feels a real sense of excitement going into the new season.
“I’m ready to go,” James said at the Cavs’ media day on Monday. “This is one of the best offseasons I’ve had in my career. And I’m extremely excited.
“I always get better throughout the offseason. I always work on my game or work on my body throughout the offseason.”
The arrival of close friend Dwyane Wade will further invigorate LeBron and get his juices flowing for the new campaign.
Lue even joked that he would lean on his superstar even more as a result.
“I’ll probably add a minute to his minutes,” Lue said. “So, 38 and a half (minutes per game). … We’ll see.”
But the elephant in the room for Cleveland’s front office is LBJ’s free agency in 2018 and where his future lies.
We won’t get an indication of this until next summer, but the franchise has put together a formidable roster to give him every chance of hoisting another Larry O’Brien trophy and convincing him to stay home.