CLEVELAND >> LeBron James can hardly contain his excitement.
With good buddy Dwyane Wade on the verge of signing with the Cleveland Cavaliers and becoming his teammate again, James feels like a little kid.
“Come on, man, this is like one of my best friends,” James said today following the first of two practices. “It’s kind of like when you start school and you walk into the classroom and you’re not quite sure who your classmates are and when you walk in there and one of your best friends is in there, you’re like: ‘Oh, yeah, this is going to be fun. It’s going to be a good class.’
“That’s the type of feeling I got.”
Once he clears waivers, Wade, a 12-time All-Star and three-time NBA champion, is expected to sign a one-year contract with the Cavaliers, a team he chose over Miami and Oklahoma City for a chance to win another title.
For James, landing Wade is the upcoming season’s first victory.
“I’m happy that we were able to keep him away from everybody else,” he said.
Wade and James spent four seasons together with the Heat, winning two championships and making the Finals four times as a duo as devastating as any in league history. They’ll now join forces on a Cleveland team that is almost unrecognizable following a busy summer in which Kyrie Irving was traded to Boston and the Cavs remodeled their roster with the acquisition of Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, former league MVP Derrick Rose and free agents Jeff Green and Jose Calderon.
“We’ve got a lot of options,” said James, who will attempt to reach his eighth straight Finals. “There should be a lot of guys getting open shots or just late contested shots. Efficiency has always been a huge part of myself and D-Wade, and I know didn’t like how he wasn’t as efficient as he can be or has been throughout his career last year.”
Wade worked out a buyout last week following one season in Chicago, his hometown. The 35-year-old has been tight with James since they broke into the league together in 2003, and their bond has only grown stronger with each passing year.
On the floor — and off — they have a powerful connection.
“I think it’s just the whole honesty thing,” James said in explaining his chemistry with Wade. “When you can be honest with somebody no matter what’s going on and your games translate, it works very easily. He tells me when I (mess up) and I tell him the same thing. We get on each other. We’ve always been like that especially four years that we played with one another and even before that when just used to text. I watched his games and told him things he could’ve done better and vice versa.
“It’s just a brotherhood that we have.”