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May 26, 2011

LeBron James

Dwyane Wade


Miami Heat 83
Chicago Bulls 80

Q. You guys making that run at the end, where did all that come from? Because it was a long time coming this season, right?
DWYANE WADE: We don't even know what happened. I'm not going to lie to you and say we do. I can't remember all the plays. I just remember the time-out, and Coach just looked at us and said, "We've done this before. We've been in games where we're gone on a 12-0 run or 14-0 run. Just believe." We came out of that time-out believing if we get stops, we can give ourselves an opportunity. That's all I remember.

Q. Dwyane, there's been games after a rough game you came back and had a great game. You haven't had games where you had nine turnovers midway through the third quarter and are nowhere and finished with a four-point play and are everywhere. Can you take us through your night. And even though I hate to keep asking, they showed on TV your shoulder being iced and worked on. Can you tell us why it is not an injury?
DWYANE WADE: Well, I had shoulder surgery before. Obviously that goes nowhere. Every now and then I have to try to keep it loose. It wasn't ice, it was a hot pack. Just try to keep my shoulder loose. I had surgery before. It's not 100% never.
And I had moments where I was struggling. And it's not the first time in my life I've struggled. Obviously, I wanted to do it tonight. I wanted to do it in the Eastern Conference Finals. I wanted to play great. It just wasn't in the cards for me to do that. Sitting on the bench and watching what our team did to come into the fourth quarter, be down five points, it was like, okay, if I can give us something. When I got back in the game, for the first time, my mind was free. Just play.
I'm a person who really believes that other people give you confidence. When LeBron threw me back the ball, after me struggling so much and he threw me back the ball, I was like well, I have to make something happen. I got a little space and got to my step-back jumper, and D-Rose hit me on the elbow and I just tried to finish it.
That's where the momentum started to shift a little bit.

Q. At any point in the last couple of minutes of the game did you guys notice the Bulls' body language changed at all? Like they were playing more to not to lose rather than to win?
LeBRON JAMES: No, we've just seen our body language change. Me and D-Wade said we want to watch the last four minutes of the game and see exactly what happened. We don't honestly know what happened. We know some big plays happened, and we know we won the game. It went so fast. Our body language changed, once we got stops and finally made a few shots.
I have to give a lot of credit to Chicago, Coach Thibs, D-Rose and the rest of those guys. That defense we faced this round is tremendous. Like I said, coming -- I said it coming into this series, this was going to be an offensive struggle for both teams. That's exactly what it was. We both, Chicago and us, we both pride on the defensive end.
You know, once we made a few shots, we felt like we could get stops in the fourth quarter. That's what we build on. We build on getting fourth quarter stops. D-Wade made some unbelievable plays. Got an and-one on transition on D-Rose. Got a four-point play. I was able to make a few shots and we continued to get stops.

Q. LeBron, drawing on your own personal experiences in these situations, how did that help you and how can that help Derrick going through these kind of tough series in the playoffs carrying a team like this?
LeBRON JAMES: It's going to help you. I've been in situations where I say why me at this point? But you have to keep working and be put in those positions time after time after time where if you fail, you have to be ready to take that challenge again and again and again. When you're a leader, D-Rose -- he earned the MVP. He's a great talent, unbelievable player. Chicago got a great -- not only a great basketball player, but a great kid, too. What he's done for this city and what he's done for this franchise in just three years is remarkable.
The sky is the limit for that guy. I mean, wow, as a fan, he's going to get better and better. Hopefully we don't have to continue to see him in the postseason.
LeBRON JAMES: Yeah, we will.

Q. LeBron, at what point did you refine yourself late in the games or was it a feel you had in the postseason?
LeBRON JAMES: It's not refine, it's just being put in those positions. I never lost confidence in my ability. I know what I'm capable of. My teammates never lost confidence in me either. That's the huge thing. When your teammates continue to look at you down the stretch and say, we need you to bring this game home for us, we need you to make plays offensively and defensively, you never lose confidence in yourself, too.
This postseason has been a good run for myself as far as being able to close games. But I've done it in the past. It's just the thing when you fail in late-game situations, those are the ones that people remember. They don't even remember the ones when you do well.
I just got to keep being put in those situations, like I said, and not be afraid to fail.

Q. I take you guys both back to that army base and talk about -- Air Force, thank you very much. Air Force base and talk about the foundation you got there and the progression through the season to get to here.
DWYANE WADE: I mean, it does seem like yesterday. We're coming together as a new unit. They decided, the Miami organization, decided we need to get away and just be about us and not let any outside distractions get in. And it was just about us. Every day. I had to go against this guy. We never played together. Chris Bosh had to go against UD. Mike Miller had to go against JJ. Coach made sure he lined everybody up against each other. We worked hard, and you start seeing the chemistry come.
We all knew that everyone wanted to win, but everybody in the league wants to win. It's the work that you put in that's going to determine how much you want to.
It started there for us. And obviously it wasn't a smooth ride. We have had a lot of rocky -- a rocky road throughout the way. But we've never turned our back on each other. We've always stayed together as a team, as a unit. That's why we're able to come back in games like this with 3:53 left, because we believe in each other. Without that we would have been done.
LeBRON JAMES: Like I said, it seems like yesterday when we were just on the Air Force base. It's just hard work. Like D-Wade said, everyone comes into the season wanting to win. You just got to continue to push. You know you're going to have a lot of ups and downs in the NBA season. It feels like the roller coaster, like the world is caving in on you, but you have to stay together. That's what we've been doing this postseason so far. A lot of work to be done still. The hard work doesn't stop now. When you have those times when it's just us, those are the ones that help you when you get in situations like not only tonight, but in the postseason.

Q. LeBron and Dwyane, just being at this point, after what happened last summer with all the expectations, how does it feel? What's it like? Is it a sense of relief? Or how would you describe it right now?
LeBRON JAMES: It's no sense of relief right now. We still have work to do. Like I said, we will look at this moment tonight, have a little bit of time tomorrow to go over this moment, what we just accomplished, but we get ready for Dallas very soon.
We don't take for granted this win and take for granted being the Eastern Conference champs. We're not going to take that for granted. There's a lot of teams, 15 teams in the Eastern Conference that set out to do the same thing starting the season. But we have a lot of work to do still. We look forward to the challenge once the Finals begin on Tuesday.

Q. LeBron, your three-point shooting has improved over the years. For what you've done in the last minutes of the last couple of rounds, is it just something you've grown into? Or did you feel like you were really shooting it well coming into the playoffs, that and your free-throw shooting?
LeBRON JAMES: I guess it's work, first of all. Putting the extra hours of work. Me and D-Wade always, for the most part, we stay after, get shots. Late-night get shots. Just trying to work on our craft to get better for our teammates. Not only for ourselves, but for our teammates to come through in situations like that.
When you have confidence in your ability to go out there and perform, that helps. Being put in those positions help. Like I said before, when you have the confidence from your teammates to take those shots, or even when you miss, they still look at you like we want you to take those shots again. We have that confidence coming from the other 13 guys in our locker room.
For myself, just stepping up. Just stepping up for this team and trying to do whatever it takes to win. And if that's making a big shot late in the game or if that's trying to get a defensive stop, I try to take the challenge.

Q. Is it something technical?
LeBRON JAMES: Nothing technical. Just repetition.

Q. LeBron, when you see this surge in interest, year-long interest, since you went to Miami, so much of it, whether people are hating or loving you, it has to do a lot with you, how do you feel about that?
LeBRON JAMES: I understand a lot of the backlash that came with me going to Miami, but I understand also that I did what was best for me, what was best for my family and what was best for me being a professional athlete. I understand what this league is all about. I wanted to team up with some guys that I understood that would never die down in the moment. The opportunity presented itself with this great organization, and D-Wade came to me and said it was possible. We made it happen.
You know, I'm happy. In anyone's job, they always try to find some way they can do their job and be happy doing it. And that's where I am right now in my life, as far as on the court and off the court. I just keep on -- I'm trying to get better every day. Not only as a basketball player, but as a father, as a friend. All the above, I guess.

Q. (No microphone.)
DWYANE WADE: No. What's today's date? 25th? We have about a month left. We have about a month left of the continue of hate. We'll see what happens for next year.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you, guys.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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