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June 6, 2011

LeBron James

DALLAS, TEXAS: Practice Day

Q. LeBron, I'll just ask you the same thing: Can you give me a few adjectives? What did Chris Bosh's eye look like during that game?
LeBRON JAMES: It didn't look well. All game you could see it watering. You could see him messing with it. Just trying to keep a tissue during time-outs to keep it padded. But he fought through it. And then you definitely respect that.

Q. Have you guys seen growth from him? Dwyane has talked about seeing growth all year. What growth have you seen during this series?
LeBRON JAMES: CB is really hard on himself. He's his own critic. He knows when he's not playing well. As teammates we try to keep him upbeat, let him understand how important he is to this team. He's grown. Not only just this series but throughout the whole postseason. This is the furthest he's ever played in a postseason. So he's excited, and he's done some great things for our team. He's going to continue to do great things for our team. We always say he's the most important player to our team.

Q. LeBron, you score in Game 1, you guys win. Yesterday you're a distributor at the end you guys win, but still there's LeBron stories and LeBron criticism. Are you at the point you feel like you can't win?
LeBRON JAMES: No, I did win. We won. (Laughter). That's all that it's about.
You know me, anybody that knows me throughout the years, all I care about is the W. No matter if I'm scoring. I'm not just a scoring guy. I've got a lot of points in my career. I have had some teammates who have given me great confidence and ability to go out there and score a lot of points. But I've done other things. I don't have to score points to be effective.
Not only did Chris Bosh make the game-winning shot, but D-Wade had a hockey assist. I got the assist to CB and Udonis Haslem set the screen on Dirk to get him a wide-open shot. That's what it's about. This is a team game. Even though I know I get a lot of the headlines, bad headlines, D-Wade gets a lot of the great headlines, CB gets a few headlines, this is a team game. We understand as a team we have to play together to win. It's not just about me.

Q. Adjustment-wise they changed Jason Terry against you, getting him the ball a little bit earlier in Game 2. Now they've struggled a little bit at the end of games with your guys' defense. Actually at the beginning getting big deficits. What adjustments do you expect now for tomorrow night?
LeBRON JAMES: I don't think it can't be too many. I think there are slight adjustments both teams make from game to game. Like I said, Game 4 of The Finals, which you've been working on all season since training camp is what you have. There's not too many things you can change. You can make slight tweaks offensively, defensively that can make you be a little bit more on point when you see a situation happens. But right now it's about the team that's going to play hard, going to use their instincts and just play on a string. You have to trust one another as teammates both ends. Not only us, but Dallas as well.

Q. LeBron, you and Dwyane have talked recently especially you don't care who finishes the game as long as you win. How did that process develop this year? And was there a point in the season where you stopped worrying about what the perception was out there?
LeBRON JAMES: I think when our communication just -- we didn't care about -- it's all about winning. Once we started communicating that -- I think it started early in the season when we just were struggling. We were trying to be too unselfish. I've always said that trying to change our game, I thought that was going to be for the better of the team.
At the end of the day, we had always just say whoever has it going, we kind of just go to. D-Wade had it going last night. I have had it going at points in this postseason where they've come to me, come to me and I've been able to close for our team.
It doesn't matter. At the end of the day, it's the win. If it's D-Wade making a crucial basket or me making a crucial basket or last night, CB making the game-winning shot, that's all that's about.

Q. I know you're somebody who cares a lot about legacy. You've had series in your career where you put up big numbers and not won the series. Do you care about what your numbers will look like when it's over?
LeBRON JAMES: No, I just want to win. Individual, I think my individual stats will take care of itself. Like you said, in a series I've averaged 38 points a game and we've lost in the Eastern Conference Finals against Orlando.
This is a team game. My resume will speak for itself after I'm done with this game of basketball. What me and my teammates are trying to accomplish now is the only thing I'm worried about. When I'm done, I'll let you guys figure where I should be placed.

Q. LeBron, you had to get past Boston obviously in an earlier round to get here, and stopping them with your defense against their offense. Any way the Mavericks here compare to the options that Boston has?
LeBRON JAMES: They're very similar, because they force you to help -- they have so many dynamic players on the court at one time. You look at Boston, Ray Allen, Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Rondo, these four guys can all break you down at one time. So everyone is live. You can't relax off anyone of them because they'll all make you pay. That's the same with this Dallas Mavericks team. When you are coming down the stretch and you have Jason Kidd and Jason Terry, with Dirk also and Shawn Marion and Tyson Chandler who also can create things off the glass, you never have a chance to relax, ever. So mentally you have to be in tune, because if you do, like we've done a few times in this series, they make you pay.

Q. LeBron, for years you played against Dwyane and probably in some cases guarded him. What's the difference between him now in '11 and when he was in '05 and '06 in the years you've seen him?
LeBRON JAMES: I think the difference is he had a super duper green light. Like he told you before, he had no conscience in '06. He knew that he really had to go out and score 30 every night to give his team a chance to win at times. He's a smarter player now. That just comes with age. It comes with experience. It comes with games that you play throughout the course of your years.
I mean, he's the same great player I faced my first seven years in the league. A guy that can break you down off the dribble, create at the rim, can make shots from the outside. At the same time, a two-way player who also plays defense at the same high intensity. I just think he's a little older, but not old at all. Just a little older.

Q. LeBron, even though you guys knew when you decided to make all this happen, you guys knew there would be times where you would share all kinds of roles, be it the ball at the end or the leadership, did it take you some get getting used to when Dwyane could be vocal, be harsh with you? You probably haven't had that a whole lot in your life. Did it take you time to get used to?
LeBRON JAMES: Not at all. I've never been afraid of constructive criticism. From my coaches, from my high school teammates. I had four best friends in my high school team. Those guys would get on me all the time if I ever did anything wrong. Something I've been going through my whole life. When you have good friends and you have friends they are not afraid to tell you when you're wrong. That's on the court or off the court when you're doing stuff that shouldn't be done. So it wasn't hard to adjust to. I understand that if he's yelling at me or trying to tell me to do something better, it's for the better of the team, to help me get better individually, vice versa.
It didn't take no time to get used to. I know I'm not bigger than this team or I know everything. I still got a lot of improvement to do.

Q. LeBron, you mentioned you've been to the Finals before. Experience-wise, is there a difference between being in The Finals or winning the Finals? And when I say that, have you noticed anything different with Wade even though you've known him for so long in these three games?
LeBRON JAMES: The only difference for me in '07 and now, it takes a lot more preparation. Being young, I wasn't ready for the preparation for the NBA Finals at that point. Being my first time. I wasn't prepared mentally. Coming into this season, I prepared from day one. Being around two guys who had already won rings, three guys including Eddie House and Udonis and D-Wade, I knew how to prepare throughout the course of the season to get to this point.
So it is great when you are around guys who have been in this moment and who actually got to the mountaintop, to lean on at times. We have a luxury. We have a luxury here. We got guys that have been in this moment before and not afraid to be in it again.
THE MODERATOR: Thanks, LeBron.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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