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October 5, 2020

LeBron James

Los Angeles Lakers

Practice Day

Q. Just wondering what stood out the most to you when you went through the film last night?

LeBRON JAMES: Our turnovers. Our turnovers really killed us. We understand that we can't turn the ball over versus this team. We also had some breakdowns defensively throughout the course of the game that we're not accustomed to having. Those will be cleaned up in Game 4.

Q. You guys have responded pretty well after losses in the playoffs so far. I'm wondering if there's a common theme between those different times, and are you seeing that same kind of mentality now?

LeBRON JAMES: We're able to take a loss and understand why we lost. Understand things that we should have done better and things that we can apply to the next game to be better. We're right back at that moment once again with the opportunity to be better than we were in the game before.

Look forward to the opportunity tomorrow night.

Q. Specifically with Anthony, when he's had off nights or what have you, he's always responded in a really big way. He's talked about you always kind of knowing how to approach him after a night when he's struggled. What's your approach been with him today and what do you expect from him tomorrow?

LeBRON JAMES: I expect him to be AD. I'm looking forward to getting out on the floor with him once again tomorrow night.

Q. You've been in the Finals 10 times now. You've been up in series, you've been down in series. What's it like to process the time off in between games coming off a loss?

LeBRON JAMES: Pretty much the same coming off a win for me. Until the series is completed, I kind of stay on edge, stay locked in on the job at hand. Obviously, no one wants to ever lose. You hate that feeling, especially when you know you didn't play your best, and I definitely wasn't at my best last night from an individual standpoint. So I take that responsibility and I take that with a lot of passion and understanding of how I can be much better in the following game.

Throughout the postseason, I stay even keel. As I've grown in this game and I've grown over the years, I kind of stay even keel, understanding that there's always another opportunity to get better. We have that opportunity today and also tomorrow night in the game.

Q. You're wearing a "More Than a Vote" shirt right now. In terms of trying to influence change, thinking back eight years ago when you wore those hoodies as a statement of Trayvon Martin, what are the biggest things you've learned about impacting change off the court? Is there advice you now would have given yourself eight years ago when you kind of started this journey?

LeBRON JAMES: That you can't get caught up in what everybody else thinks, because everyone is not going to always agree with your movement. Everyone is not going to agree with your words. Everyone is not going to agree with your passion. Everyone is not going to always agree with why you're doing it, things of that nature. If you're true to it and it hits home and it hits the heart, then it shouldn't matter. And it doesn't, because you have the knowledge and you have the passion and you have the support to be able to shed light on situations that you feel are either unjust or wrong.

There's a thing called common sense. You know the difference between right and wrong. It's something I've always grew up on. My mother always told me [about] being able to understand the difference between right and wrong and noticing it and being able to have that feeling. To sit back and think eight years ago when we sat in Detroit in the ballroom as a part of the Miami Heat team, and we all decided to put our hoodies on in a reflection, in a remembrance of Trayvon Martin and that tragic incident, we knew that it was going to be uncomfortable to a lot of people. But we didn't care, because we understood how much it hit home for us and a lot of our guys having sons of their own. We could imagine if our kid was to leave home and not return. I think that's what it boils down to.

Q. In terms of talking to opponents on the floor, are you a guy who just responds to trash talk? Do you initiate it? As your status has moved up in the league, has it changed? Have different players said different things or do they not want to talk to you because they don't want to get you going? How does that equation go?

LeBRON JAMES: No, I've always been a guy who kind of let his game do the talking. But when guys get to talking, I can do that, as well. I've always tried to let my game do the talking.

Some guys like to talk their way through the basketball game. I think it helps them out personally. There's always communication going on on the floor. For me personally, as long as it doesn't get disrespectful, I'm fine with it.

But I've never really started up a trash-talking dialogue. That's just not me. I believe the way I play the game is enough trash talking in itself.

Q. From just a strategy standpoint, Bam is the type of big who is obviously a really great playmaker but he doesn't space the floor so much with his shooting. The guys that Miami plays at the position now, Meyers and Olynyk, both do. How much different does that force you guys to be defensively? You talked about those defensive breakdowns last night. I imagine spacing had something to do with a couple of them.

LeBRON JAMES: I think it all boils down to, no matter who's in the lineup for those guys, they're a great team. It's just that simple. They're going to put you in positions that may feel uncomfortable, that will be uncomfortable, throughout the course of 48 minutes, and we have to be able to adjust. There's things that Meyers and Kelly do that Bam doesn't do, but we also understand that there's things Bam does that not too many guys in this league can do. They create different challenges depending on who's out on the floor.

When there's five guys out on the floor for the Miami Heat, they're going to play how they play. They're going to move the ball, they're going to move with pace, they're going to share the ball. They've got guys that can get into the paint. They've got guys that can shoot threes. They've got guys that command double teams and things of that nature. It doesn't matter who's out on the floor for them; they're going to be playing at a high level because that's just the way they are. They're extremely well-coached from top to bottom.

Q. You've always prided yourself on playing the right way. You still have those moments like the fourth quarter against Denver in the close-out game where you're like, this is going to end now and you go to that place. Jimmy parallels you in that regard in that he doesn't want to have the ball in his hands every possession; he wants to get other guys involved. And then you saw last night what he ends up doing. Are you in that space yet where you think you might have to go that tack to close this thing out and go to that fourth-quarter-Bron-against-Denver mode, like we've seen so many times from you in the past? Or are you not there yet?

LeBRON JAMES: I've never predetermined my game plan throughout my whole career. I've never gone into a game saying, okay, I need to score 40 tonight, I need to dominate in the scoring facet, things of that nature, I need to make big shots. I've never predetermined my game. Throughout my whole life, I've never done that. One thing I've always been, I've always been prepared. If you're prepared, then whatever the game -- however the course happens, you're able to make adjustments throughout the game and you're able to impact the game because you're prepared and you've put in the work. It's just that simple for me.

I think anytime I've ever thought about, okay, I'm going to try to go out and do this, it doesn't happen that way. The game has too many things that can happen throughout the course of the game and throughout the course of a quarter or possessions here and possessions there where you can try to plan for it, but audibles happen in the football sense.

The best thing I can tell you is that I'm always prepared and I know that I've put in the work. I trust that.

Q. Early in the pandemic you mentioned that your body was kind of in shock, that you were rounding toward third base for the playoffs and then you had to stop. All these months later, how would you say your body has responded to all that?

LeBRON JAMES: I'm in great shape. I bounce back extremely well in between games. I could play right now if we had to play right now, at a high level.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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