LeBron says he needs more reps

CHICAGO -- LeBron James was in town to play the Chicago Bulls on Friday but you would have guessed the Cleveland Cavaliers were getting ready to play the Chicago Bears judging by how much he was taking about football in the pregame locker room.

The Cavs had the Bulls on the second night of a back-to-back after a disappointing 95-90 season opening loss Thursday to the New York Knicks and James was asked if he'd stop thinking about how his big return game went awry yet.

"The good thing about our sport is you're able to do better the next night very fast," James said. "I'd be sitting very upset with myself if I was a football player: You get one game a week. So, you have the opportunity (as an NBA player) to go out and perform better the next night."

Despite the loss, it was an epic night for Northern Ohio as thousands of fans descended upon downtown Cleveland for a cathartic celebration, finally moving on completely from "The Decision" and the fallout it caused.

Yet, when asked what he'll save in his memory from the experience for years to come, James only focused on one aspect of the game.

"What will I most remember? My eight turnovers," James said. "I'm serious."

Coincidentally, James also had eight turnovers in his very first regular season game with the Miami Heat in 2010, which also resulted in a loss to the Boston Celtics.

"I remember," James said. "I remember like it was yesterday."

He geared the conversation back to the gridiron to explain the multitude of miscues in both of those games.

"For me, I'm like Peyton Manning, man," James said. "I need my reps. I need my reps. I need the 7-on-7 (football passing drill) in the offseason. Obviously because of a crazy offseason, I wasn't able to get my 7-on-7s so that resulted in me having a lot of interceptions. So it makes sense. I got these new guys, I got to figure them out, we got to figure each other out and I'll cut down on them. I'm hard on myself."

James said one particular turnover he coughed up on Thursday was eerily similar to an errant pass he threw the first time he suited up for Miami.

"I thought D-Wade (Dwyane Wade) was going to spot (up in the) corner and I threw it corner and he went backdoor," James said. "It's the same exact (thing). I played it right in my mind when I threw it last night to Kyrie (Irving) when he was cutting backdoor. I was like, 'OK, I've been here before. So, I already know what to expect.' "

In other words, he expects his quarterback rating to improve as the season goes on.