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June 12, 2016

LeBron James

Oakland, California: Practice Day

Q. In reference to this whole thing with Draymond Green, the Warriors players seemed concerned or upset about the fact that they said you stepped over him or the other word was straddled him. Why did you do that?
LEBRON JAMES: Well, first of all, before we get started, I want to -- my condolences goes out to all the lost ones and families in the tragic shooting in Orlando. I think it's another hit for us as Americans and what we have to deal with in our world today, and it definitely puts things in perspective on basketball. For myself, it's just a small matter of what reality really is. So my prayers to all the lost ones and all the ones that are recovering from this morning's tragedy in Orlando.

To get to your question, I don't really have an answer to it. I'm not quite sure what any of the Warriors guys said. I'm not a disrespectful guy. I don't disrespect anybody. It's all in competition, so I don't really have an answer to your question.

Q. Well, let me follow up. Were you aware at the time that you stepped over him? Was it something that you didn't know that you did, or did you do it intentionally?
LEBRON JAMES: I was just trying to get back into the play. I think what had happened was intentional. I knew we got into a grapple at the top of the key, but me just trying to get back into the play. That was my whole mindset.

Q. After four games you are playing tomorrow an elimination game. How hard is it for you to be in this situation?
LEBRON JAMES: It's not hard. I mean, you go out and you give everything that you have to your team and to your teammates, and you live with the results. I put a lot of hard work into my career and into this year, so I know what I'm capable of doing. I know what our team is capable of doing. But it's not hard. You just go out and do your job.

Q. LeBron, when you're playing Draymond or anybody that was in Draymond's situation, how aware are you that he's one flagrant away from a suspension? Does it affect how you go into a matchup like that?
LEBRON JAMES: I think something like that you're unaware. I didn't even know at that point in time. But you are aware of what's going on in the game. You know if a guy has one foul, you know if a guy has two fouls. You know if a guy has one technical or if a guy's injured or whatever the case may be. Those things that are happening throughout the course of the game, you notice those things.

But you're not -- I've never been aware, okay, if a guy gets one more flagrant or if a guy gets, I don't know, one more penalty point -- I'm not quite sure of all that stuff. I'm not aware of that.

Q. LeBron, the other night you said you didn't expect the NBA to assess a flagrant. I believe your answer was: No, I don't expect them to do it. Were you surprised by today's decision to assess a flagrant? And do you think that resulting suspension is fair? Did you feel like it was a flagrant?
LEBRON JAMES: I think the league handled it as they felt they wanted to handle it, and that's their call. It's been their call all year. Us as players, we've got to play on no matter what happens. You can't -- you can either go with what the league says or you don't, but at the end of the day they make the final decisions.

Q. You were pretty upset, obviously, on the court at that moment. Did you feel like it was a flagrant foul?
LEBRON JAMES: I felt like at that point in time it was a little bit outside of basketball.

Q. You know the history. You know no team's ever come back from 3-1 in The Finals. Does this give you guys a little bit of a lift or a spark maybe that you needed?
LEBRON JAMES: At the end of the day, it doesn't. For our team, we know how dangerous they are no matter who's in the lineup. I mean, obviously we saw what they were able to do without Steph for two weeks, playing against Houston and playing against Portland. Those guys still complement each other, no matter who's out on the floor.

So we have to be, obviously, much better than we were in Game 4 in order to try to get a win in a building where they've been very successful.

Q. Just to pick up on your comments there at the end. Obviously the first two Finals went their way in Oracle. How do you nullify that away-court issue?
LEBRON JAMES: Well, not many teams have been successful here. But at the end of the day, we just have to play better. I think our first two games we had way too many turnovers which resulted in those guys getting out on the break. I think we averaged 18 turnovers for 25 points in Game 1 to Game 2. No matter how well you play, that's not good ingredients for a victory on anyone's floor, especially not on the defending champion floor.

Q. When the Warriors were up here, there was some talk about what trash talk crosses the line and what doesn't. Klay Thompson said: I guess he just got his feelings hurt. You talked about being a prideful guy and some comments Draymond made. Would you discuss that whole issue of what's fair and not fair on the court?
LEBRON JAMES: What happened? What Klay said?

Q. Yeah, and what crosses the line.
LEBRON JAMES: No, I'm not -- what did you say Klay said?

Q. Klay said: I guess he just got his feelings hurt.
LEBRON JAMES: (Laughing) Oh, my goodness.

Q. I believe the transcript will support that.
LEBRON JAMES: I'm not going to comment on what Klay said, because I know where it can go from this sit-in. It's so hard to take the high road. I've been doing it for 13 years. It's so hard to continue to do it, and I'm going to do it again.

At the end of the day, we've got to go out and show up and play better tomorrow night; and if we don't, then they're going to be back-to-back champion, and that's it.

But I've taken the high road again.

Q. After last game you said you were slightly perplexed about the lack of calls against your defenders when you're playing as aggressive as you are. Do you think that will change? Do you expect it to change as the series progressed?
LEBRON JAMES: I can't. I mean, for me, you control what you control, and that's something that myself and our team can't control. What we can control is how aggressive we play on both ends of the floor. Our coaching staff will prepare us the best way to go out and win Game 5, and it's up to us to go out and execute it.

Q. LeBron, you've been involved in the last two playoff series where the team has a 3-1 advantage. You know, obviously with Miami you got wiped out at San Antonio, and then when you were with Miami before you took it to Oklahoma City. How do you avoid basically that not happening again when you're around the others?
LEBRON JAMES: Well, you have to take one possession at a time. You can't start the first quarter thinking about the third quarter. You can't start the second quarter thinking about the fourth quarter. Every possession matters, and especially when you're in a do-or-die game, which it is for us, obviously. You know, so we've got to just take every possession as the last and move on to the next one as they carry on throughout the game.

Q. Especially on the road it's tough because they can steamroll against you too?
LEBRON JAMES: This team could steamroll against anybody on any court (laughing), so that's the actualization about it all.

Q. I know you were in the middle of The Finals, and maybe a big-picture question doesn't work here, but you wanted to come back to Cleveland for one reason. And I wonder, having seen this team come together over the last two years and now being healthy and having the run that you had, just the kind of over-arching pressure you continue to feel to try to deliver that with a team that is really I think everything that you wanted and everything that they were able to do for you and how you deal with that facing an elimination game like this?
LEBRON JAMES: Well, for me, I think from a basketball standpoint, that's one of the reasons why I came back, but it's not the main reason I came back. It wasn't the only reason I came back, and there wasn't just one reason why I came back.

Me personally, what I'm able to do off the floor as well with my foundation and me being back home and me being -- last summer I was able to guarantee all my kids in my program college scholarships. I'm able to do so many things because I'm actually there, hands on, with my foundation and things that go on. I'm able to up lift the youth in my community and also in other communities. Even though you're able to do it from afar, if you're actually there, I think it's even more meaningful to kids that look up to you for inspiration.

Then from a basketball standpoint, yeah, I mean, that's always been my goal since I was drafted in 2003. I was drafted in 2003. My goal was to bring a championship to Cleveland, and it hasn't changed. When I left, my goal was to bring a championship to Miami. That didn't change. And when I came back, it hasn't changed.

So, ever since, for me -- since I went to high school in '99, that's been my goal, since '99, was to win a state championship, to win an NBA Championship. So that goal has never changed.

Q. With your 13 years of experience, as you pointed out earlier, though, does it give you perspective that no matter what I do or how hard I play or the leadership that I show that there may be some years that it just doesn't happen?
LEBRON JAMES: Well, at the end of the day you control what you can control. You dedicate yourself to the game, you be true to the game. I commit myself to those 14 guys and our coaching staff and our fans every single night that I step on the floor. At the end of the day, win, lose or draw, I'm not happy, but I'm okay with it because I know I've given all I've got.

I don't know if there's anyone that's been in the league and won a championship every single year they've been in the league. Unless they played one year, won a championship as a rookie and then they retire.

One thing I can say that I've been blessed enough to be a part of seven Finals, and hopefully I'll be blessed enough to play in many more even after this year, win, lose or draw.

Q. How has I guess the line of what's too far in trash talking changed since you've been in the league? Like what's the line now and what was it then? Also, I know you and Draymond are friends. How is your relationship after this?
LEBRON JAMES: Well, I don't think that's changed. I think we all know what's crossing the line no matter if you're playing basketball or if you're playing video games or we're playing catch or you're double-dutching it. I mean, we know what's crossing the line. We know what words cross the line, male or female. And ever since Draymond came into the league, I've been someone that he can always talk to and things of that nature. But he crossed the line last game. He felt like I crossed the line. We said what we had to say. So we're in a competitive series right now, and I think right now friendship is the last thing we're thinking about.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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