Larry Nance Jr. spoke with the media ahead of the game between the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Atlanta Hawks and referred to the post-LeBron era.
Here is what the young power forward/center, who signed a four-year contract extension with the Cavs, said:
On the team’s future in the post-LeBron James era: “So obviously this summer we lost LeBron. Obviously you never want to lose a player of that calibre, but with that being said we’re all very excited for the opportunity it presents. We have to step up and show the kind of players we are when given the chance to be that.
I think all of us have been working extremely hard this summer, myself included. I plan on making the play-offs, I think it’s very realistic to snag that sixth, seventh or eighth seed in the play-offs and give someone a heck of a time in the first round and maybe even sneak into the second.”
On playing alongside the “King”: “There’s definitely a lot I learned from LeBron, getting to grow up in Akron, Ohio where he is from as well is surreal. Getting to play on his team is unbelievable.
Some of my earliest memories of basketball are going to St. Vincent-St Mary where he played in high school basketball and watching some games there, because there is this phenomenon growing up in Akron, so why not go and see him – LeBron James is going to be the best ever.
Then, 20 years fast forward and I’m playing with him in the NBA finals against the Warriors is pretty incredible and that’s definitely an experience I relished and will never forget.”
On whether he can make the difference in the LA Lakers: “Anywhere LeBron goes he creates title chances. Obviously the Lakers are a huge contender and not just because of him. My friends are still out there, so they’ve got a great young core with Kuzma, Ingram, Lonzo, Zubac, Josh Hart.
From top to bottom they’ve got talent on their roster and obviously the West is a little bit tougher than the East this year, but if anybody can do it I wouldn’t put it past him.”
On the best trade this off-season: “The trade I’m looking most forward to seeing is how Kawhi fairs in Toronto. Obviously that’s my own conference, so I’ve got to really keep an eye on that one.
They’ve set the goal standard in terms of regular season performance in the East for the past couple of years so that will be a team we’ll be chasing, so I’m really intrigued to see if the Raptors can incorporate him into the system so fast and also, past this year, to see if they can convince him to stay as OKC did Paul George.”
On whether he would be excited to play in the NBA London Game: “I would love to play in the UK one day, I think that would be the coolest thing. With the way soccer is growing in the United States, I would love it if we could bring basketball over here and make it spread as much as soccer is where we’re from. I think it would be an incredible opportunity to get to expand our game and show the world what we’re really about.”
*NBA Sundays presented by NBA 2K19’ on Sky Sports– part of a record 42 Primetime games live on Sky Sports starting from 8.30pm every weekend. This week on 21 October the Cleveland Cavaliers host the Atlanta Hawks on Sky Sports Arena from 11pm.