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Larry Nance Jr. has played with Kobe Bryant while both were members of the Los Angeles Lakers.
However, while the glare, glitz and glamour of Hollywood can be stunning to the senses, it’s nothing compared to what the son of Cavaliers legend Larry Nance has seen and felt since being acquired by Cleveland on Feb. 8.
Such is life as a teammate of the best player on the planet, LeBron James.
“It’s definitely new, yeah,” Nance said after practice Sunday of the heat, intensity and focus that come with playing with James. “Obviously, being in LA [with the Lakers], we had a lot of media around us with different circumstances, but here, this is brand new, this is something completely different.
“You can’t turn on SportsCenter or ESPN without hearing, ‘Cavs this, Cavs that,’ so it’s definitely taken some adjusting. But yeah, I think I’m there now.”
The 25-year-old, who has gone from falling out of coach Tyronn Lue’s postseason rotation back to becoming a solid, high-energy guy off the bench, admits watching and playing alongside James can cause some jaw-dropping moments, even for him.
James’ left-handed bounce pass he deftly delivered to Nance between a pair of Boston defenders for a dunk during Cleveland’s 116-86 whipping of the Celtics during Game 3 on Saturday night at Quicken Loans Arena being just the latest example.
“It’s, ‘Come on.’ It’s hard not to. In the moment, no, it’s just like catch, finish,” Nance said. “But yeah, I’m sure at one point, I’ll look back at that like being able to catch a lob from Kobe [Bryant], or something like that.
“It’s definitely something that I’ll keep in my memory bin.”
Nance, who has a year left on his rookie contract for $2.3 million, believes he was brought in not only for this season, but going forward.
“For myself, just the way I think of it is, I got brought here obviously to help win this year, but I’m looking forward to, obviously, the rest of this playoffs, next year, the year after that,” Nance said. “They’ve gotten younger, so any time you get younger, it’ll help your team for years to come.”