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NBA FINALS: SPURS v HEAT


June 15, 2013


LeBron James


SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS: Practice Day

Q. ¬†Hey, LeBron.¬† Danny Green was talking about when he was your teammate in '09‑'10 with Cleveland, some of the rookie chores he did for the team and what have you.¬† What do you remember about maybe things you had him do that season or other veterans had him do?
LeBRON JAMES:  I really didn't have him do much.  I wasn't really the veteran on the team that made the rookies do stuff.  Most of the time it was Shaq.  Shaq made him do everything.

Q.  How impressed are you or surprised, however you want to phrase it, with how Danny has played in this series?
LeBRON JAMES:  I've seen the talent in practice every day.  We would always shoot after practice.  It would be me, him, Mo and Boobie Gibson shooting every day after practice.  I seen his ability to shoot the ball.  In practice he would play very well.  I just think he needed an opportunity, and I said that before the series.  He got a great opportunity here, and he's taking full advantage of it.

Q.  LeBron, with your ability to recall plays, coverages, that kind of thing, how far does that go back?  When do you remember that beginning to happen for you?  And then how does it help you today either in preparation, practice or in games?
LeBRON JAMES:  I don't remember how far goes back.  I can remember plays in situations a couple of years back, a few years back.  I don't know.  Sometimes it works great, sometimes it doesn't.  Sometimes it can cloud my mind too much and I get to thinking about the game too much instead of just playing.  Sometimes I'm able to put myself in situations that's better for me and better for our team by knowing what happened before.
I guess it's a gift and a curse.

Q.  I guess how far back does the memory go, but at what point in your career do you remember being able to do that?  And do you do it more in practice than in games?
LeBRON JAMES:  I've been kind of like this for a while.  Probably since I was in little league, actually, to be able to remember plays that happened out on the floor.  But it became important to me probably when I got in high school.

Q.  LeBron, the game that you and Chris and Dwyane had last game, why hasn't that been more commonplace this season?
LeBRON JAMES:  I don't know.  I have no idea.  We would love to do what we did last game every game.  But every game is different.  Every game presents different challenges.  We haven't been able to string games like that for the Big Three in this postseason.  But we're still here.  We're still in a position to win an NBA championship, and that's what's most important.

Q.  What has been the biggest challenge of you guys trying to make it work?
LeBRON JAMES:  I think year one, it's just the sacrifice we all had to make.  That's the biggest challenge.  The sacrifice you have to make to be the face of a franchise, the face of a team and sacrificing everything to be a part of something that's greater.  That's it.  Once we figured that out, we've been pretty good ever since.

Q.¬† LeBron, worst‑case scenario obviously is that you go home with home‑court advantage on Tuesday night, and theoretically where the series is supposed to be, worst‑case scenario.¬† That all being said, you look at Game 5 as needing the same urgency, the same intensity as Game 4, the same attitude as when you were down in the series?
LeBRON JAMES:¬† Yeah.¬† I think it's time.¬† I think we're well overdue when it's time for us to win consecutive games.¬† I think we're at 11 or 12 straight consecutive win‑loss, win‑loss, win‑loss.¬† I think it's time.¬† Enough is enough for our team.¬† I'm not saying it's going to result in us having a win, but we need to play with the same sense of urgency as if we were down 2‑1 or whatever the case may be tomorrow night.¬† And we can't wait around.

Q.¬† Are you surprised at all‑‑ Game 1 was such a classic, great finish.¬† Obviously not the way you would have wanted it, of course, but are you surprised that the last three games have all been 19, 30‑something, something else that we haven't seen the closer games in this series?
LeBRON JAMES:¬† I guess the teams are just making the adjustments.¬† The adjustments the teams are making from game to game.¬† And that's resulted in what's happened in the last two games.¬† I think that's what everyone would like, 2‑2 in The Finals for Game 5.
We are excited about the opportunity.  We have another opportunity to win on someone else's floor.

Q.  A little off the track, it's Father's Day tomorrow.  I know Bryce turned six this week, I guess.  Are your kids of the age now that they understand this time of year is different for you?  That the moment is different than the regular season?
LeBRON JAMES:  No, not really.  They don't care either.  They know if I won or lost.  But for the most part, when you have them around, man, it puts everything in perspective.  Like you said, yesterday was Bryce's six birthday.  He had a great time yesterday.  But all they know is if I won or lost.  At the end of the day I love to see their smiles, love to see their energy, and I'm happy to have them.

Q.  So they came out with you for this entire week or just during the weekend?
LeBRON JAMES:  No, they got here Thursday.

Q.¬† LeBron, your confidence and your body language and self‑assuredness just kind of is completely different now than it was 2011.¬† Just that mindset, how important is that going into a pressure‑packed situation like Game 5?
LeBRON JAMES:  I mean, I think it's just maturity, and if I'm going to be the leader of a team, then I have to be that way.  If the guys are going to believe in me, I can't have doubt.  I can't be unsure about things.  I have to be fully confident, confident in my ability and confident in my teammates and go out there and do it.
So I got that not only from myself but my teammates have given me the keys and say, hey, we look to you to lead us.  Now it's up to you to go do it.

Q.  Is that something that you have to just learn by going through the pain?
LeBRON JAMES:  Absolutely.  Absolutely.  You have to go through some pain.  Doesn't matter if it's at this level or you're a kid or whatever the case may be throughout.  Whatever that you do, I believe you have to go through some pain in order to get to the highest level.

Q.¬† LeBron, if you look at the Dallas series, the Oklahoma series and even this series, there seems to be a big difference in Miami's success when you're a perimeter facilitator versus someone who looks to attack and score.¬† So what are your thoughts on these next three games, to continue attacking?¬† As well assuming San Antonio doesn't concede the wide open perimeter, how do you attack in a half‑court offense?
LeBRON JAMES:  What are you asking?

Q.  Basically, I'm asking are you going to continue to look to score?
LeBRON JAMES:  And not pass?

Q.¬† No.¬† I mean‑‑
LeBRON JAMES:  Let me put it this way:  We don't make it to Dallas, we don't make it to OKC and we don't make it here if I don't play the way I play.  It's that simple.  My game doesn't change no matter who I'm playing.  I know I'm an attack player.  I also do multiple things.  I get my teammates involved, I rebound, I defend.  I don't have three straight trips to The Finals if I don't do what I do.  It is what it is.

Q.  LeBron, your Game 4 turnovers that you forced on them were a little bit different.  And you got into the passing lanes a little bit more.  Does some of that come from the familiarity of playing against a team consistently and starting to understand what they're trying to do and anticipating it?
LeBRON JAMES:  It's about being in the right place at the right time.  Not being too overaggressive, but being in the right places.  We cover for one another.  We got some blocks.  We got some steals.  We got some deflections and allowed us to get in transition.  Against a team like this that's very precise with their offense, turnovers are very key.  They're not going to turn the ball over much, but when we do get turnovers, we try to turn them into transition points.  And on the other end we don't want to turn the ball over well because they execute so well.
So we were in the right place at the right time in Game 4, and hopefully we can put ourselves in the same position in Game 5.

Q.  Last year you won the title for the first time.  Do you watch it sometimes on the tape?
LeBRON JAMES:  Excuse me?

Q.  Last year you won for the first time you won the title.  Do you watch it sometimes on the tape on the video?
LeBRON JAMES:  Last year's Finals?

Q.  Yes.
LeBRON JAMES:  No, I haven't watched it in a while.  Been pretty busy as of late.  Haven't had a chance.

Q.  LeBron, is there any similarities between your performance, mentality, to scout Game 4 this year than in Game 6 last year against the Celtics, that whole mentality being locked in?
LeBRON JAMES:  I put a lot of pressure on myself coming off the Game 3 loss and I had to own up to that and come through for my team in Game 4.  Like I said, I was blessed to be able to make a few plays to help our team win that game.  I have the same focus and the same mentality coming into Game 5.  And we'll see what happens.

Q.  Going back to the idea these games haven't been close, do you feel like if you guys play the right way that the three of you guys and you force turnovers and hit outside shots, that you should be able to beat this team, that it's not a surprise when the margins gets lopsided?
LeBRON JAMES:¬† We're not surprised to get a win.¬† Surprised to win by double digits.¬† If we play our game, if we force turnovers, we rebound, execute offensively and don't turn the ball over, we can win against anybody.¬† We're a confident bunch.¬† But we're going against a great team that's going to make adjustments as well.¬† And that's why it's a 2‑2 series right now.
So both teams believe they can win on each other's floor.  Both teams feel like they can beat the other team up pretty well if they get to their game.  So it's who gets to their game better that particular night and see what happens after that.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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