LeBron James to Face Maccabi in Scrimmage Despite Sore Back

Cleveland Cavaliers take on Maccabi Tel Aviv, Coach David Blatt's former team.

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Cleveland Cavaliers' LeBron James being introduced during an NBA scrimmage basketball game, Oct. 1, 2014, in Cleveland.
Cleveland Cavaliers' LeBron James being introduced during an NBA scrimmage basketball game, Oct. 1, 2014, in Cleveland.Credit: AP

LeBron James is due to play for the Cleveland Cavaliers against Maccabi Tel Aviv in an exhibition game at home Sunday night, despite a sore back, Cleveland.com has reported.

James sat out Friday morning's practice but participated in both the Friday afternoon and Saturday night practices, according to the media site.

"I feel how I thought I would feel right now in training camp," James said. "Legs come and go. My back is starting to get a little better so that's a good thing."

Blatt said at a press conference on Friday that the back issue was "insignificant" in the big picture and was resting James more for maintenance purposes.

James said Saturday night after practice that getting to know Blatt, the former Maccabi Tel Aviv coach and first NBA coach to get a job solely based on international experience, has been "good so far," ESPN reported.

A sizeable crowd of basketball fans filled the Beachwood High School gymnasium in Beachwood, a suburb of Cleveland, to watch Maccabi Tel Aviv practice and get players' autographs on Thursday, according to Cleveland.com.

"It's a great opportunity for Israeli and Jewish families to connect with a symbol of Israeli success," said local resident Gil Maoz. "They are not just a sports team, but they are a brand of a nation that rose from the ashes after World War II and was able to recover."

The Jewish Federation of Cleveland organized the event with Maccabi, Cleveland.com reported.

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