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May 21, 2015

LeBron James

J.R. Smith


Q.  LeBron, coach just called you a modern day Superman in terms of your ability to constantly bounce back from injuries.  Of all the things you've done in your career, is that at or near the top of your list.
LeBRON JAMES:  I take my body very seriously, and it's not what you see on the floor.  It's what I do off the court.  The days off and in between games, where I take care of my body and take it very seriously.  I mean a lot to this team, and I don't want to have to have an injury.
Obviously, I can't predict them.  You don't know if they're going to happen, but if you take care of your body beforehand, sometimes it makes the process easier to come back from.

Q.  LeBron, you've rolled your ankle like that dozens of times over the course of your career.  When you do it, what goes through your mind right at that moment as you limp off the court in pain?
LeBRON JAMES:  Not again.  That's the first thing that comes to my mind.  I just try to get a feel for it.  I try to start stretching it out, tie my shoe even tighter to see if I can give it a go.  I've been fortunate enough that I've been able to do it.

Q.  You've been very fortunate in terms of not missing too many games with your injuries.  Is there any one that sticks out that you played through that's particularly difficult or caused you a lot of discomfort?
LeBRON JAMES:  I'd probably say my right elbow.  I think it was in '09 or '08, when we were making our run here in Cleveland my first stint.
It's just I couldn't shoot the ball.  I couldn't extend the ball.  I don't know where it came from.  Right after the season, it went away.  It's the most frustrating thing I've been through while trying to make a championship run.  That's the one I can kind of go off the top of my head with.

Q.  Was it like swollen or strained?
LeBRON JAMES:  It wasn't swelling.  I don't know what was going on.  I took multiple MRIs, got it checked, nothing they could find.  Must have been a lot of‑‑ just worked.  It stopped me from doing a lot of things.

Q.  How much of coming back into a game after you roll it badly is just pure threshold of pain tolerance and how much is will?
LeBRON JAMES:  I think it's a combination of all of it.  My trainer says I've got a high tolerance for pain.  So what may keep some guys out, I'm able to come back from.  Also, it's just a will to be out there with my teammates and just give them that presence on the floor, no matter if I'm able to do what I do normally or just give them half of what I can do.

Q.  LeBron, when they put a bigger defender on you, does it change your approach at all?  Like when DeMarre went out and they ended up putting Millsap on you, does it change your approach?
LeBRON JAMES:  No, it doesn't.  I just try to stay in attack mode and put pressure on their defense.  Last night I got too much away from what we needed to do offensively as a team.  Because he was in foul trouble, I was trying to get him in even more foul trouble, but I've got to do a better job of keeping the ball moving from side to side.  But my approach doesn't change no matter if it's a smaller guy on me or bigger.

Q.  Earlier reports are DeMarre, no structural damage.  He might actually be able to continue in the series, possibly even tomorrow night.  What are your thoughts just on the injury not being as serious as what it seemed?
LeBRON JAMES:  That's great news not only for DeMarre‑‑ that's the most important, for him‑‑ but for their team.  If he's able to go tomorrow night, I'll be very surprised, but it would be good to see him back on the floor at some point because you just don't want someone to end their season over something that looked like it was a season ending.

Q.  LeBron, last night you shared a chuckle when J.R. said he has a hard time passing the ball when his shots are going down like that.  How have you grown to appreciate a shooter like that?  Have you played with anyone who shot like that?  How do you balance knowing that it's not always the most high percentage shot on the court but it's going in?
LeBRON JAMES:  When a guy has it going like that, you don't mind him taking a couple of off‑balance shots, a couple of contested shots.  He's 8 for 12 from the three‑point line and should have took four or five more.
I think all of his shots was in rhythm for him.  His in rhythm is different for a lot of in rhythm.  Those shots are not in rhythm for myself, but for him, those are in rhythm shots, and you can see the rhythm that he had.  They were barely touching the net.

Q.  He had three assists.
LeBRON JAMES:  And eight rebounds.  So more energy to shoot the three‑pointer.

Q.  Nobody's ever done that.  Make eight and eight.
LeBRON JAMES:  So he did pass the ball a couple of times.

Q.  I'm talking about the rebounds.  He's never done that.
LeBRON JAMES:  Yeah, right.  It was big time.

Q.  First team All‑NBA again.  What does that mean to you?
LeBRON JAMES:  I've been able to play at a high level for a long time.  I take my craft very seriously.  I try to be the best I can be every single night when I'm out on the floor.  To be rewarded again with that, it means a lot.  It means I've done something pretty cool in my career so far.  Hopefully, I can continue it.

Q.  You talked about Kyrie last night.  Coach Blatt just said hopeful that he'll play tomorrow.  Any doubt in your mind he'll be out there?
LeBRON JAMES:  We're all hopeful.  I don't have any doubt right now.  I don't think he's gotten worse from last night to today.  He just needs to continue his treatment and continue the things that need to be done to get to this point, and hopefully he can get ready for Game 2.

Q.  You said in the past we need everybody to step up, especially with Kevin Love being down.  Are you surprised that every night it's somebody different and the fact that the least‑‑ the guy that you least expect to do it is the guy that ends up coming up big for you guys?
LeBRON JAMES:  Not surprising when you're around guys every day and you see the work that they put into it.  K. Love went down, it's next man up.  It's a huge blow for us, and we understood that, but it's next man up, and we need everyone, not to fill his shoes, but to fill their shoes even more.  Just do what they do and do it high, do it at a high level, and it's great to see my teammates being rewarded with such a performance.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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