On Thursday, LeBron James said he was “so happy” to have “the best player on the planet” back on the court.
“I’m so happy to be playing again,” James said.
“I’m feeling great.
I’m really excited.
I was in a funk a little bit, but it’s over.
The energy is just unbelievable.
We’re so lucky to have the best player in the world back.”
The Cleveland Cavaliers forward spoke to ESPN about his time on the sideline and how he’s enjoying his time back on court.ESPN: What’s your mindset right now?
James: I’m still getting back to my feet.
I haven’t been able to play much this year.
I’ve been playing less than 30 minutes a game.
But I’ve learned to just be more confident and be able to focus on the game and just stay focused.
I think I’m playing better now.
ESPN: How does that change your game?
James, who was injured in the second half of last year’s playoffs, said he’s “so much more confident” on the floor.
“You just have to have more confidence to do what you want to do and do it,” he said.
James is the only NBA player with more than 1,000 points and 2,000 rebounds since the 2010-11 season.
He’s also just the seventh player to reach 2,300 points, 1,300 rebounds and 1,400 assists since the league began keeping track in 1982.
He also is the third-leading scorer in NBA history with 1,077 points, 943 rebounds and 939 assists.
“For me to be able the way I am now, it just takes a lot of work and I can’t wait to get back out there,” he added.
James’ return is a big boost for the Cavaliers, who lost five straight games and have not won a game since Feb. 9.
The team is 5-11 without him.
“We’re a team that is a little more balanced now.
We have a lot more depth,” James told ESPN.
“We’ve got a lot better players, a lot stronger, a little faster.
And the guys that are here have done a good job of being on the same page, so it’s a great thing.”ESPN: Did you know the Cavaliers were trying to sign Kyrie Irving?
James said yes, but only after he was offered the No. 2 pick in the draft.
“He was like, ‘Yeah, I’m willing to do anything,'” James said, “so we had a lot to talk about.”ESPN’s Brian Windhorst asked James if he was aware of the Cavaliers’ interest in signing Irving.
“Yeah, of course,” James responded.
“It’s just like any other team that wants to get a guy like that.
It’s just about winning games.
And I’m a winner.
That’s all I want.”
James said that “every single person that’s been around me, that’s who I’m talking to every day and every day, has said they want to play with me.”
James said it’s hard to keep it all in perspective because “you have to put the time in to be a winner.”
James is expected to miss the final six weeks of the regular season and the playoffs.ESPN’s Nick Friedell contributed to this report.