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May 22, 2014

LeBron James

MIAMI, FLORIDA: Practice Day

LeBRON JAMES:  We got in our work today, get some more work in tomorrow, and get ready for Saturday.

Q.  Can you talk about that process by which you or D‑Wade or some of the veterans will in game make a decision to change defensive assignments?
LeBRON JAMES:  Well, we've been together long enough where we just place guys on certain matchups when we feel like that particular guy can control it, or at least handle the situation.
I'm usually the culprit of putting guys in a position where I want them to be defensively, and we have a system where guys just react.

Q.  Do you ever wonder if it doesn't work, what the repercussions are?
LeBRON JAMES:  No.  If a guy's playing hard, he'll be there with the results.

Q.  Why did it work so well when Norris went on to Stephenson?  What did you know about that?
LeBRON JAMES:  Stephenson's a great player, man, and for us we just wanted to put a guy on him that we know can guard the ball.
Stephenson's a great ball handler, especially off the pick‑and‑roll.  So we felt like the matchup with Norris would be good.

Q.  LeBron, do you think around the league players have that same kind of open input, where the coach will actually listen and take some of it?
LeBRON JAMES:  I don't know.  I know what our team is about, and he's always allowed me, and obviously D‑Wade, who's been here ten‑plus years, to make adjustments in game that we feel is best for the team.

Q.  How important is that?
LeBRON JAMES:  Well, it's very important.  We're the guys on the court that's playing, and you have a coach that trusts you to make adjustments.

Q.  When did you start doing that?  Which season?
LeBRON JAMES:  I don't know which season, but it's been a while now.

Q.  I've got an off kilter question.  Just came from a public school, 1,500 kids with disabilities.  All across Broward, all across Miami‑Dade, it's White Hot Heat day.  When you see those faces and for most of their lives, all they know you and winning down here, how much joy does that give you?
LeBRON JAMES:  It means everything.  I do so much with kids and underprivileged kids.  To see the smiles and the joy on their faces when I get an opportunity to be with them and to know that we have so much support throughout South Florida, throughout Florida and all over the world, it means so much.
For us as players, we have to continue to be role models, continue to be leaders to those kids.  It's pretty cool.

Q.  It used to be a Dolphin town.  They don't know the quarterback anymore, but they can name at least six players deep on a Heat bench.  You're responsible for changing this town.
LeBRON JAMES:  No, not just me.  It started a long time ago when Mickey took over the team, brought Pat down here, and the rest is history.  I'm just a piece of the puzzle.

Q.  LeBron, with what George went through with concussions and things like that, most players are proud and want to continue playing.  Like when you broke your nose, how much does a player just want to play through it?
LeBRON JAMES:  I think every last player in the Final Four would have played through it.  This is the conference finals, and obviously, a concussion is very serious.  Our concussion test is not as extensive as the NFL.  It doesn't happen as much.  I think all of us would have played through it under the circumstances.

Q.  Do you expect him to play on Saturday?

Q.  Do you expect it to affect his game in any way on Saturday?

Q.  The previous question about the fans here, Barkley made a comment that there are real fans in Cleveland, not real fans in Miami.  Did you hear that comment, and do you have any thoughts about that?
LeBRON JAMES:  Didn't hear the comment, but he said it before.  I don't have a comment about it.  Cleveland has great fans.  Miami has great fans.  I've always said that.

Q.  When Cleveland got the No.1 pick, it created a TV [indiscernible].  Does that get back to you?  What's your thoughts on it?
LeBRON JAMES:  No, I heard about it.  I don't really have thoughts about it.  I'm in the middle of conference finals.  I'm not worried about draft lotteries and that conversation.  That's the last thing on my mind.

Q.  How would you characterize Pat Riley's impact on you personally and as a basketball player?
LeBRON JAMES:  Well, I came down to Miami for a reason, to win championships, and he had a lot to do with it.  That's what it's all about.  He's a winner.  He believes in family.  He believes in what it means to be a great coach and to have leaders and leadership around here.
Me coming down here fit really well.  So I'm happy I'm decided to do it.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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