LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers are fighting for their playoff lives on Friday. The defending champs are down 3-0 in the finals against the Golden State Warriors. In NBA history, no team has come from a 0-3 start to win it.. then again the Cavs made history last season being the first team to win after being down 3-1. LeBron spoke to he media before the game addressing his health and Kevin Durant.
You spoke yesterday about going immediately home and getting the treatment because it was a physically and emotionally stressful game for you. How are you feeling right now, and do you feel like the quick turnaround is an advantage for you to get back on the court or kind of a disadvantage because you need a little more rest?
LEBRON JAMES: To answer your question, I’ve been around the clock getting my body ready for tomorrow, getting my mind ready once again. And is it an advantage? I don’t know if it’s an advantage, after this series, after this postseason, after how many minutes and games I played in. But I’ll be ready to go tomorrow once the game gets here.
One quick follow-up. Obviously you guys played a lot better in Game 3. Now that you had a little bit of time, what did you see out there on the court that’s working for you guys and that you think you can bring and carry over to Game 4 to make sure you can complete out and get that game?
LJ: Well, I feel like if we come in with the same energy, same effort, physicality, as we did in Game 3, we give ourselves a good chance to win. Now, does that result in a win? It’s to see. Because we played well in Game 3, and they were able to get that one as well. So it was just about us playing the same way, being a little bit better down the stretch, obviously. But like I said, last night we had some — I mean, I just watched the film. We had some pretty good looks that just didn’t go down, and they had some looks that went down for them. So obviously we know it’s a big challenge, but we look forward to the matchup again.
Having changed teams a couple times and knowing how hard it can be, how long it can take for it all to come together, can you appreciate for Kevin maybe, how fortunate maybe he is that it looks like he found a situation for him where it just blends perfectly right and maybe it can be quicker, he can find a fulfillment easier?
LJ: Well, first of all, with all the success that he’s gotten throughout his career, I’ve always been proud of him and I’m always excited to see him grow as a player. I don’t think that our careers are the same as far as changing teams. Their team was already kind of put together, and you just implement a guy that’s ready to sacrifice, a great talent, a guy that’s willing to do whatever it takes to help the team win. But that team, they knew what they were about. He just had to come in and just do what he had to do. And that’s what he been doing. For me, when I left here to go to Miami, we had to build something. We brought in eight or nine guys, and we had to build something. And when I came back here, we built something again. But I can definitely appreciate the simple fact of him either reshaping his game or just sacrificing maybe some shots here, sacrificing having the ball in his hands all the time. But it works for their team. I mean, who wouldn’t want to sacrifice playing on a Golden State team or a San Antonio team or a Cleveland team when you know the ultimate result is you can actually compete for a championship.
Ten years ago you began your Finals run against a team that was in the midst of a dynasty. Now you’re up against a team that looks like it’s built to last. Does that change the challenge, does that fuel you? How do you feel about that?
LJ: Well, I think it’s just part of my calling to just go against teams in the midst of a dynasty. This has been the best team in our league the last three years. They won a championship, and last year it was the greatest regular-season team we had played, probably one of the best postseason teams that everybody’s ever seen as well, but we were just able to overcome that. And they’re playing like one of the best teams once again. So like I said, there have been times throughout my career where I just played teams that were just in the midst of something that can last for a long time. And obviously this team is built to be able to do that with the talent that they have. So we’ll see what happens. Obviously you never know what’s going to happen, but as it stands right now, they look pretty good, as far as the future.