Back on Cleveland Cavaliers media day in late September, LeBron James came into the new season with a fresh mind and body.

"This is one of the best offseasons I've had in my career," James said. "And I'm extremely excited."

After spraining his left ankle, however, and only playing in one of the Cavs' five preseason games, followed by a 3-4 start to the regular season, James admits that all the air from his summer training was let out of his balloon when he got injured.

"This was probably the worst training camp for me in my career because of the injury," James said at Cavs shootaround Wednesday morning before their game against the Indiana Pacers. "I didn't get an opportunity to do the things that I like to do and with the summer that I had, I kind of had a setback."

With the Cavs coming off three straight trips to the NBA Finals, training camp might have been looked at as nothing more than a tune-up had Cleveland returned its core. However, Kyrie Irving's offseason trade request set off a string of roster moves that resulted in the Cavs bringing in eight new players this season.

The practice time was necessary. And there was no way to substitute learning how to play with James for the roster additions unless James was actually on the court.