INDEPENDENCE, Ohio -- The King is already contemplating his reign coming to a close.
LeBron James, on the opening day of training camp for his 14th NBA season, said that the retirements of Kobe Bryant, Tim Duncan and most recently Kevin Garnett have caused him to think about when he and his contemporaries will play their final games.
"It feels like our era is next," James said Tuesday. "That's what it feels like. Me, [Dwyane] Wade, [Carmelo Anthony], [Chris] Bosh. We're next. We're on deck. We're the next group behind those guys. I mean seriously, if you look at it, we're the next group. So that's one of the first things that I thought about, like, once Dirk [Nowitzki], and Vince [Carter], and Paul Pierce decide to go, we're next. You just don't take it for granted. Every time we come out here, we talk to you guys, step out on the floor, we're going to play this game, we love it, but we're on deck."
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. -- Los Angeles Lakers No. 2 draft pick Brandon Ingram is carrying goals into his rookie season, one of them being to win NBA Rookie of the Year honors.
But Ingram's quest toward that award will begin on the bench rather than being in the starting lineup.
"That drives me," Ingram said during the team's media day on Monday. "If it was given, it wouldn't drive me as much to be the best player that I can be. Just coming off the bench and showing that I can be one of the best players on the floor, I think it just gives me motivation to work hard each and every day."
CHICAGO -- Rajon Rondo has long been regarded as one of the most cerebral players in the NBA, but his ability to coexist with various coaches and teammates has been called into question at every stop during his professional journey. As the veteran point guard gears up for his 11th year in the league, this time as a member of the Chicago Bulls, the early returns have been surprising, given his track record.
Bulls players, coaches and front-office personnel are singing his praises at every turn.
"The biggest thing that I've been most impressed with with Rajon is, the minute he stepped on this floor, when he got back here in August, is he pulled everybody together," Bulls head coach Fred Hoiberg said after Tuesday's practice. "His voice -- he's got the best voice on the team.
"My job is to come here and help [Carmelo Anthony] win. This is his team," Rose said on Tuesday after his first training camp practice with the Knicks. "In practice to push him, be on him, when I see that he's being lazy or something like that.
"And it's vice versa, he's going to be on me when he needs to push me. It's no bad blood. I'm just here to help him win."
Anthony's Knicks have missed the playoffs for the past three seasons, struggling through a rebuild.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but sources say that Erving will get an upfront guarantee as well as royalties associated with the deal.
As part of the contract, ABG has filed for the trademark to "Dr. J" as well as Erving's signature in the US and in various countries.
ABG president and chief marketing officer Nick Woodhouse said the company will use Erving's name and image to expand into luxury, travel and corporate partnerships as well as do licensing deals and merchandise his name.
INDEPENDENCE, Ohio -- The 50-plus year championship drought is over in Cleveland. And the group the Cavaliers are bringing back to defend that title seems almost as old as that ringless streak the Cavs ended back in June.
The Cavs open training camp Tuesday with the oldest roster in the league, with an average age of 29.7, according to RealGM.com. Their closest competition is the Los Angeles Clippers (29.6). The team they beat in the NBA Finals, the Golden State Warriors, is significantly younger (27.5).
While the Warriors reloaded in the offseason with 27-year-old superstar Kevin Durant, the biggest names the Cavs acquired in the summer are closer to 40 than they are to 30.
OAKLAND, Calif. -- As the Golden State Warriors embark on what is, at the very least, the most hyped season in the NBA since the beginning of the Miami Heat's Big Three era, there is an irony to this campaign: It’s the drum roll for a team that won’t really try to live up to the hype.
Oh, the team with two former MVPs -- Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant -- will certainly compete. The Warriors will also seek to play well on a nightly basis. What they will not do, however, is try for another wins record, after an NBA-record 73 victories last season. So, 74 wins isn’t the goal this season, even if it’s somehow plausible with this unprecedented collection of talent.
Or, as Warriors forward Draymond Green put it: “Everybody is going to grow. And are you going to with 74 games? To be quite frank with you, I don't want to win 74 games or 75 games. It's brutal.”