LeBron James, on media day, says his intentions to finish his career with Cleveland haven't changed

Posted at 2:59 PM, Sep 25, 2017
and last updated 2017-09-25 17:13:31-04

Coming back from a busy off-season, LeBron James took the podium Monday during the Cleveland Cavaliers media day. 

James had some words on many topics, addressing Kyrie Irving's departure to Boston and President Trump's comments on the NFL and Steph Curry. 

Kyrie Irving's Departure

James started by addressing Irving's trade, noting he had "tons of emotions" after hearing about Irving's trade request. 

"I was wondering if there was something I could've done better that could've made him not want to be traded," James said. "I wanted to reach out to him because I wanted to get a little insight into why he felt like he wanted to move on."

"The only thing I'm upset about is he took a lot of the DNA and blueprints now to Boston. I wish the kid great health and he wanted to do what was best for him," James added.

Staying in Cleveland

Clevelanders have long wanted to dismantle the rumors that James would leave after his contract is up in the summer. 

Putting the rumors to rest James said: "It hasn't changed. That is why I sit up here today in this uniform. Still ready to lead this franchise to a championship."

James will re-approach the subject of his contract when the summer comes.

"I won't ever cheat my teammates or the fans or in situation where I am worried talking free agency all year long because I am not going to give energy to something I can handle in the summer time."

Reporters asked what else is there to decide if he plans to finish his career in Cleveland.

"At the end of the day, I have a contract and I will fill out that obligation which I have always done. I have always handled it in the most business-like way."

Sports and politics

On Saturday, James called President Trump a "bum" on Twitter, saying the president is dividing the nation after Trump said NBA Champion Steph Curry was no longer welcome at the White House for a commemorative visit.

"My calling is much bigger than 'that guy'. I don't even like saying his name," James said about President Trump.

James shared his frustration about how he believes Trump uses the sports platform to divide the country.

"Sports is so amazing. What it can do for everyone no matter the shape, size, race, ethnicity, religion. People find colors, teams, players because of sports and they gravitate towards that. It makes them happy. It brings people together like none other," James said.

"I'm not going to let, while I have this platform, to let one individual, no matter the power, no matter the impact he or she should have, to ever use sport as a platform to divide us."

Anthem protests during NFL

As football players across the NFL took a kneel during the anthem, James addressed the controversy and conversations circulating around the stance both the President and players are taking.

"It [the protest] is not about any disrespect towards the people who served this country. It's about equality," James said.

He added: "I think we all have the right to express our feelings about what is going on. I can respect that from my teammates or anyone in the league. For me, my voice is more important than my knee. What I say, I think it should hit home, but do I down anyone doing it in the NFL? I salute Colin Kaepernick for being as powerful as he was and being the one who had to fall on the sword and I hate that. I wish I owned an NFL team because I would sign him today."