I hope the players don’t feel the same way I do. If they do, the Cavs are in for a long season.
I am satisfied. I am fulfilled. My 52-year hunger has been sated.
The weekslong celebratory orgy that erupted at 10:36 p.m. on June 19 has left me fat and happy.
Maybe I shouldn’t say this out loud, but I don’t care if no Cleveland sports team wins anything else for the next five years.
I bought the T-shirt. I bought the hat. I even bought the license plate frame. Two of them, in fact.
Heck, I actually bought the Plain Dealer’s hardcover souvenir book — despite the fact that those weenies ripped off the title, “Won for All,” from our June 20 banner headline.
Last season was perfect.
Asking the 2016-17 Cleveland Cavaliers to reproduce 2015-16 is like asking Van Gogh to paint Starry Night again. Or asking Springsteen to write Thunder Road again.
I was in downtown Cleveland on that glorious Sunday night and exchanged at least 200 high-fives with people I didn’t know, people who were young and old and black and white and tall and short and stone-cold sober and very drunk — all of them smiling.
Got to revel again three days later when I was among a million people — give or take 300,000 — who poured into downtown Cleveland on a beautiful sunny day for the championship parade. (Loved the event even though the parade itself was the worst in the history of parades.)
Got to revel with 30,000 others at Lock 3 Park in Akron to honor the hometown hero. (Loved it even though LeBron spoke for only five minutes.)
Monday afternoon, I reveled again, milling around with the players during Media Day at the team’s practice facility in Independence.
To me, the event felt more like a celebration than the start of something bigger and better. But maybe that’s just me.
The encouraging aspect of this, psychologically speaking, is that the guys wearing Cavs jerseys are world-class athletes, and world-class athletes tend to have an almost-insatiable hunger to win. Every year.
One of them seems to have a completely insatiable hunger to win.
He, of course, drew by far the most attention from the 300 members of the media who jammed into the Cleveland Clinic Courts.
LeBron said the team’s recent voluntary pre-training-camp workouts in Santa Barbara, Calif., are proof that “we’re not satisfied. We’re not satisfied with just winning one championship. We’re not satisfied with just being successful. We want the team to get better. … We want to put in the work.”
During the last 13 years, only two teams have won back-to-back titles. But one of them was LeBron’s. So he knows what it takes, and he’s no doubt setting the tone.
“We are the defending champions, but that means absolutely nothing right now,” he said, sitting in a chair on a platform wearing the white uniform with wine and gold trim.
“This is a new season, and we have to recalibrate, get back to the fundamentals, get back to the basics of the game and work on our habits every day.”
The one guy who allowed himself a decent amount of reveling on Monday was Richard Jefferson, the personable, funny veteran who surely is destined to become a broadcasting star when his playing days end.
“Now that pressure isn’t hanging over me,” he said when asked how his life has changed.
“Because I’d lost in two [NBA] finals, lost in the [NCAA] national championship … I lost in my fantasy football league twice in the championship. I lost in six-man volleyball tournaments. I just couldn’t handle another second-place finish.
“So it made my life a lot easier.”
Bob Dyer can be reached at 330-996-3580 or email@example.com. He also is on Facebook at www.facebook.com/bob.dyer.31