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Former ASU Sun Devil Carrick Felix ‘excited' by opportunity to play with LeBron James

Cleveland Cavaliers forward Carrick Felix takes in some of the action at the NBA's Las Vegas Summer League. (Photo: Craig Grialou/Arizona Sports)

LAS VEGAS, Nev. - At practice.

That's where Carrick Felix and his Cavaliers teammates were when they found out LeBron James had decided to return to Cleveland.

The announcement, which came five days ago, certainly caused quite the stir.

"It's was definitely something that was exciting. All the coaches and staff were excited," he said.

To say year two of Felix's NBA career may be his most memorable is hardly a stretch.

The former ASU Sun Devil and Goodyear Millennium High standout looks to his left and there's James, the four-time MVP and two-time champion, and then when he turns to his right he sees a great collection of young talent, including the past two No. 1 overall picks in Anthony Bennett and Andrew Wiggins, with whom he's sharing the court this week in the Las Vegas Summer League.

"It's been crazy. It's been crazy," Felix said of the increased attention from media and fans as well as family and friends, who have been blowing up his phone since last Friday. "Now that we've got the best player in the world we've got a great opportunity, a lot of stuff has changed.

"But it's also good for me, I mean, I get to learn, I get to watch. When you get an opportunity like that to play (with) LeBron (and) we got Kyrie (Irving), Dion (Waiters), Tristan (Thompson), guys like that, it's more so, as a young guy, I mean, you look for that. You look for those stars and guys you can look up to so they can teach you the game"

Felix, though, is quick to point out he's hardly looking ahead to the start of the season, not when there's still so much work to be done here in the offseason.

"Just try to stay focused and right now just worry about Summer League," he said.

Through the first three games, Felix has scored 13 points on 5-of-9 shooting, including 2-of-4 from beyond the arc, seven rebounds, three assists and four steals in nearly 42 minutes, helping the Cavaliers to victories in all three preliminary-round games.

"I get a chance to get out there and just do little things," he said. "We've got a new coach so things have changed, but at the same time, it's been good. I've just got to keep grinding, keep my head up."

It helps that Felix is now healthy. He's nearly six months removed from a stress fracture in his left knee that he suffered in the NBA D-League, where prior to the injury he was a frequent participant averaging 11 points, five rebounds and two assists while shooting 45.9 percent in 28.8 minutes in nine starts.

"It's just a slow process, just kind of getting back into the game," he said. "I'm feeling good."

The Cavaliers made Felix the third pick in the second round (33rd overall) of the 2013 NBA Draft. And before he got hurt, Felix had found his way on to the court in seven games, totaling 19 points, six rebounds and four assists in 38 minutes.

"Just my patience. My patience and my shot. Trying to, just again, just play like I did at Arizona State. Smart shots. Don't do too much; just try to keep my game as simple as possible," he said of his focus heading into his second year.

"I'm still at work. I've still got a lot of potential. I try to get just better each and every day whenever I can. I think there's a lot more to come with me so I've just got to just continue to grind."

About the Author

School: Syracuse University, '96

When you started with Bonneville Phoenix: December 1, 1999

Favorite sports memory: Game 7, 2001 World Series

Least-favorite sports memory: Game 1, 1988 World Series

Favorite all-time athlete(s): Larry Bird, Don Mattingly

Favorite sports movies: Hoosiers, Field of Dreams


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