Earlier in the offseason, second-year Dion Waiters said that he believes he is the next great shooting guard in the NBA, dropping names like Kobe Bryant and Dwyane Wade in the process.
Irving has taken this a step further, saying his goal this season is to be the best player in the NBA.
"This is the best I've ever felt coming into a season," Irving told the media.
"My goal is to become the best player in the league."
Irving is entering his third season in the NBA and his confidence doesn't come without some substance
Last season, the point guard averaged 22.5 points per game on 45.2% shooting from the field. He also averaged 5.9 assists, 1.5 steals, played enough last season, and kept these averages, Irving would have been in the top 10 in scoring and top 25 in assists.
The issue for the 21-year old has been staying healthy. Not that he cares about being listed in statistics, but he does not want to be missing on the court for his teammates.
If Irving is forced to miss time again this year, the Cavaliers have one of the best backup point guards in the league in Jarrett Jack. The new player was confident that this team has what it takes not only to make the playoffs, but be a force to be reckoned in the Eastern Conference.
The tone set by Irving, who is looking to take on a bigger leadership role this season, and Jack seems to have caught on with the rest of the team.
Players are not just hopeful, but they believe this team can make some noise this year. They realize they have been in the NBA cellar for the last few seasons, but that has only given them the necessary weapons to develop into a better team.
Someone else who is confident is head coach Mike Brown, who is returning for his second stint as coach of the Cavaliers.
"I'm a lot more confident now," Brown said.
"Not to say I was lacking it then, but you kinda don't know what you don't know and the longer you're on the job, the more confident you become, especially if you feel like you've had success.
Brown, who took his first head coaching job with Cleveland in 2005, built the success he had last time around on defense. He will have his hands full, as the Cavaliers were atrocious defensively last season, finishing last in the NBA in opponent field goal percentage.
The confidence that starts from a coach and runs through a team's star player and on down is good to have in the preseason. This team must see some success early on in order to continue to build preseason confidence into regular season results.
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