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February 18, 2017

LeBron James

New Orleans, Louisiana

Q. LeBron, there's so much talk in the media and speculation, do you take time and kind of laugh about it with teammates? Do you laugh about Melo and media reports of who's coming and all that stuff?
LeBRON JAMES: Me personally, I don't get involved in speculation. I don't read article clippings. I don't really get involved in it. I'll figure out a way and just try to keep my mindset on what the main objective is, and that's to help my guys get motivated every night to play basketball and play it the right way. So it doesn't bother me.

Q. What do you guys think you need to do in the second half?
LeBRON JAMES: Continue to improve and get healthy, first of all, which we will. We have a great medical staff. Get our guys healthy and just keep doing what we've been doing. The coaching staff, they give us a great game plan every night and we've got to go out and execute.

Q. Does that mean bringing talent in too?
LeBRON JAMES: That's a question for the GM sitting in his seat or for the ownership group. For me, as the leader of the team, I'm fine with what we have, and we'll continue to push forward.

Q. LeBron, you're playing almost 38 minutes per game. Are you comfortable with that? Do you want to reduce your minutes?
LeBRON JAMES: I'm comfortable with whatever Coach wants me to do out on the floor. Whatever he gives me to do, I can figure it out.

Q. You've been to the Finals six years in a row now. How does it feel to be the guy everyone is measured against?
LeBRON JAMES: It's motivating. It's great. To know that everyone is trying to build their team or wanting to get their team to try to get to where you are and try to knock you off, it's a motivating factor. It's also a humbling factor that to know that I've been in this position for so long.

For me, I want to continue to work my habits, train my body, train my mind, and work on my game every day to put me in a position to be successful.

Q. (Inaudible)
LeBRON JAMES: Well, I mean, at the end of the day, Kevin's [Love] out, we know that. J.R. [Smith] is out for a little bit longer still. We haven't been healthy pretty much all season, but like I said, last week, I feel like, if I'm in the lineup and I'm healthy, I'm feeling good, then we're going to have a chance. That's the way that I feel. That's the way I feel like our guys feel as well because it motivates them as well when someone goes out.

Q. What do you think about being the oldest guy here this weekend?
LeBRON JAMES: I couldn't believe it at first. For some odd reason, I was like -- I know Marc Gasol and [Paul] Millsap is older than me. And then it came out those guys are like six months or three months or two months younger than me, and I was like, wow. It put everything in perspective as far as where I've come from and how long I've been playing this game. But at the same time, it was like, wow, man, it's a humbling thing to know that I'm still at an All-Star level. The way I'm playing the game right now at my age, as long as I've been playing with the miles that I've been playing, to know that I'm still at this game and still an All-Star starter, it means a lot too.

And then it was a blessing this year when I seen Melo [Carmelo Anthony] was taking Kevin's spot because of the injury. Okay, I'm not the oldest guy on the team anymore. Now Melo is. It's pretty cool.

Q. LeBron, talk about equality for women and women's sports. How do you feel about that?
LeBRON JAMES: I think you saw it in the ad that I did with Nike. That ad speaks for itself. If you haven't seen it, you can find it online and look at it. It's not only myself, it's Kevin Durant. It's Serena Williams. It's both sides --

Q. So do you agree --
LeBRON JAMES: Can I finish? It's both sides. Equality is not just athletes. It's about the whole human race, every religion, everybody just figuring out how we can all be equal. I think it's a very, very powerful thing, and I was happy to be part of that.

Q. Who's the most fun-loving person to be around this weekend?
LeBRON JAMES: The most fun-loving person? I don't know who's the most fun-loving person. I couldn't say with any of these guys, but we've got some pretty cool guys to be around. I think Kyrie, obviously, Kyle Lowry, [DeMar] DeRozan, Melo. Our whole team is pretty cool. I like our whole team. With the Cavs, there's a lot of guys on our team that's fun-loving and things of that nature. We even have a guy whose last name is Love, so it all makes sense.

Q. LeBron, there are numbers that show, like advance numbers that show you throw the ball pretty much harder than any player in the league who passes it and farther than any player in the league. Do you see that it takes guys time to adjust to kind of passes they get from you?
LeBRON JAMES: It does. It takes guys -- any time we get a new acquisition or a rookie or whatever that joins the team, it takes them a little bit of time to figure out everything, not just passes from me, but everything.

My whole thing, I just try to put the pass on time, on target, and I study my teammates on how they like the ball. Some guys like the ball seamless. Some of them like it with the seams. If you look at the basketball, you'll see what I'm talking about. It's a different rotation on the ball of how they like it before they shoot the ball.

I've studied guys, and I studied Kyle Korver before he got to our team and seen how he likes the ball and the rotation he likes the ball. Now he's figuring it out, and I'm figuring it out with him as well. It's definitely an adjustment period for anybody that joins the team. I just try to be one step ahead, so once they get on the team, I'm already kind of in phase two.

Q. What do you make of this whole Kyrie thing?
LeBRON JAMES: Listen, Kyrie is my little brother. He's my All-Star point guard, superstar point guard, and if he decides he wants to say the earth is flat, then so be it. He's an interesting guy, man. He believes it.

Kyrie, the earth is flat, right?

KYRIE IRVING: Yeah! That's news!

LeBRON JAMES: That's news. There we go.

Q. LeBron, you have become an inspiration for so many kids, so many people, and being a role model and be able to help them. Is that extra motivation for you?
LeBRON JAMES: It's motivation, but it's also humbling too, to know that so many kids not only in my hometown, not only in our home state, but all over the United States and all over the world look to me as an inspiration, and for me to be a role model to these kids, it means everything. Every day I wake up, it's a group of people -- there's two groups. Well, there's three groups. There's my family, which is my wife and my mom, my mother-in-law, my father-in-law, my kids, and everyone in my immediate family. Then there's my foundation kids that I have to make sure that I continue to set the right example for them. And then there's the group of kids that I don't get to see and talk to every day that look at me as inspiration, look at me sometimes as a father figure, as a super hero, or just like, oh, if LeBron can make it out of the situation he was in, maybe we can as well.

So it's very humbling. It's motivating. And it's also like a breath of fresh air to know that you have the youth that they're our future. They look up to you and need your inspiration. So I carry that with me every single day.

Q. Any player at any time, who's your All-Star starting five?
LeBRON JAMES: All-Star starting five?

Q. Ever.
LeBRON JAMES: Ever? I don't know, man. I can't just name five. I can't just name five because I know if I name five, then somebody that I don't name is going to take it personal. Then it's going to be a story. I'm here for fun. Every All-Star that's been in the All-Star game has been an All-Star for a reason. I'll let you guys decide who's the all time All-Star starting five.

Q. (Inaudible)?
LeBRON JAMES: First of all, for me personally, for our team, we've done a great job of adjusting to what the league is about, and we want to move the ball, share the ball, shoot threes, attack the rim, play defense. And the whole league is (inaudible) right now. As far as the league, I think all our fans love it. They love what we have as a league, and you're seeing more scoring, you're seeing more assists, you're seeing more plays. It's a great time to be alive if you're an NBA fan or a basketball fan.

Q. LeBron, you talked about the legends paving the way for you and other guys. A lot of the guys, the younger guys here at the All-Star game talk about you doing the same for them. What does that mean to you to hear something like that? And are you cognizant of that impact that you're having?
LeBRON JAMES: I mean, it's pretty cool. I seen a couple guys name me all time starting five in All-Star, and I was mentioned a couple times. It's like -- first of all, it's like, wow, I played that long? But also at the same time, I just remember when I was a first-time All-Star or it was my second year, and we got a couple first-time All-Stars in Gordon Hayward and Giannis [Antetokounmpo], and just seeing how big their eyes are right now, just enjoying it and appreciative of the opportunity to be here.

For me, being a seasoned vet of the All-Star game, I just want to try to set the example for them and let them know this is a great weekend. This is a great weekend not only for themselves and their families, they should all be proud of themselves, but also for our fans. It's a pretty cool thing.

Q. LeBron, the Raptors made a big move with [Serge] Ibaka. What's your assessment of the East right now?
LeBRON JAMES: I think Ibaka is a tremendous player. I've had an opportunity to compete against him since he's been in the league and also The Finals against OKC. He definitely has some experience to him.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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