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May 25, 2017

LeBron James

Boston, Massachusetts: Postgame

Cavaliers - 135, Celtics - 102.

Q. Can you just talk about that embrace you gave Isaiah after the game on the court?
LeBRON JAMES: Absolutely. It's the first time I've seen him since he didn't return for the second half in Game 2, I believe. Yeah, Game 2. Throughout the series we didn't get an opportunity to actually have that moment. I know I said a few things in the media about the situation he was going through, but I was happy to see him. Just give him a big hug from myself and my family. Just how tough and determined the guy is, and to be able to go through the situation he was going through on a day-to-day basis, still being focused and maintaining his focus for the team -- family is everything, and basketball comes second after family, and to see him perform the way he was performing throughout the playoffs under the circumstances was a treat to watch. A lot more words were said, but that's the gist of it.

Q. LeBron, given how far the Celtics made it this season and that they also own the No. 1 pick, how likely do you think it is that you'll see them in a rematch next year in this series?
LeBRON JAMES: I don't know. That's a question that none of us can answer in here. They have a great team right now. IT is going to come back healthy. They have the No. 1 pick; we'll see what they do with that. But I can't answer that question and know if we're going to play them in the Eastern Conference Finals next year. I have no idea.

Q. What goes through your mind on a night like tonight? You become the all-time leading scorer in the postseason, you're going to your seventh Finals, you're going to face the Warriors for the third time in a row. None of these things have ever happened before. What do you pick to think about?
LeBRON JAMES: I think the first thing for me was seeing the excitement on Kyle [Korver's] and Deron [Williams] face. You've got one guy with 12 years, first Finals appearance, and another guy 14. So that's the first thing I picked. And just to see the excitement around my teammates -- I do it for them, and they give it back to me as well.

Q. Going back to those guys who haven't been to The Finals, what's the message to them as they get ready for this journey?
LeBRON JAMES: Well, I don't have a message right now because we need to live in the moment. Like I said, it's been 12 and 14 years for those two guys. So we all need to soak it up. This is a great moment, and this is not promised. We know that. But once we start to lock in on that beast of a matchup that we've got next round, then we'll be very focused and I'll let those guys know what to expect out of a Finals appearance.

Q. Richard Jefferson said in the locker room today, he was asked about you breaking MJ's record, and he said, I can go on record and say that when LeBron James is done playing, his records will never be broken. Just your thoughts on hearing that from RJ, one of your teammates.
LeBRON JAMES: Well, I love the fact that RJ does that because we have a great partnership, Uninterrupted, and Road Trippin' is doing very well now. So it's a huge plug for my business and our partnership. Thank you, RJ. You're unbelievable.

Q. LeBron, from the number that you wear on your jersey to just the way people have talked about this one guy, that he's such a luminary in the game and you're trying to chase it, how do you put into words passing Michael in such a statistic that has a lot of stature in this game?
LeBRON JAMES: First of all, I wear the number because of Mike. I think I fell in love with the game because of Mike, just seeing what he was able to accomplish. When you're growing up and you're seeing Michael Jordan, it's almost like a god. So I didn't ever believe I could be Mike. I started to focus on myself on other players and other people around my neighborhood because I never thought that you could get to a point where Mike was.

So I think that helped shape my game. I think the biggest thing for me sitting here today after breaking the all-time scoring record in playoff history is that I did it just being me. I don't have to score the ball to make an impact in the basketball game. That was my mindset when I started playing the game. I was like, if I'm not scoring the ball, how can I still make an impact on the game? It's carried me all the way to this point now, and it's going to carry me for the rest of my career because scoring is not No. 1 on my agenda.

Q. LeBron, I heard what you said about living in the moment, but is there a particular challenge about defending the title against these guys?
LeBRON JAMES: I'm going to be honest, I'm not in the right mind to even talk about Golden State. It's too stressful, and I'm not stressed right now. I'm very happy about our accomplishment. I have no discussion -- Golden State, they've been the best team in our league for the last three years, and then they added an MVP. That's all I can give you right now, because I'm happy and I don't want to be stressed. They cause a lot of stress, and I'll get to that point when we start to prepare for them.

Q. You've said multiple times now that growing up you never thought you could reach Michael's status. When did you realize you could?
LeBRON JAMES: I don't -- have I?

Q. You're on the green, if you're not.
LeBRON JAMES: I'm not a golfer. This guy right here to my left [J.R. Smith] is, though, so he'll tell me what that means when we get on the bus.

J.R. SMITH: He drove the green, I'll tell you that.

Q. But you're obviously in the discussion. It's a barbershop debate, but you're in that discussion. When did you realize you could be?
LeBRON JAMES: I think at the end of the day, for my name to come up in the discussion with the greatest basketball player of all time, it's like, wow. Like I said, I did pretty much everything that MJ did when I was a kid. I shot fadeaways before I should have. I wore a leg sleeve on my leg and folded it down so you saw the red part. I wore black and red shoes with white socks. I wore short shorts so you could see my undershorts underneath. I didn't go bald like Mike, but I'm getting there. (Laughter). But it will be post-career, though. That's the only thing I didn't do. But other than that, I did everything Mike did. I even wore a wristband on my forearm. I didn't do the hoop earring, either. That was Mike. But I did everything Mike did, man.

I wanted to be Mike, so for my name to come up in any discussion with Michael Jordan or Kareem or all these guys that's paved the ways for Tristan and Kevin [on podium with James] and myself and Swish [J.R. Smith], it's a wow factor. I don't really have anything to say.

Q. You said that trying to be like Mike was impossible because he's like a god, but what would it mean for you to kids now to say they want to be like LeBron?
LeBRON JAMES: That's all part of the plan. It's been part of the plan since I really started taking this game serious, to say how can I get the youth to feel like passing the ball is OK, making the extra pass is OK, drawing two defenders and no matter if you win or lose, if you make the right play, it's OK. Because like you said, scoring the ball is so heralded in our sport. I want the fundamentals of the game to be as great as they can be. And if some kid or a group of kids from the West Coast or the East Coast or the Midwest or the South and everything in between all around the world can look at me and say, well, I made the extra pass because LeBron made the extra pass, or I got a chase-down block and I didn't give up on the play because LeBron didn't give up, that would mean the world to me.

So we'll see what happens. We'll see what happens. Appreciate it.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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