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NBA FINALS: HEAT v SPURS


June 6, 2014


LeBron James


SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS: Practice Day

Q.  Can you take us through how much you had to go through the last 12 hours and what your pain and stiffness level is right now?
LeBRON JAMES:  I'm pretty sore right now just from the muscles spasming up and they're starting to release, but I'm pretty sore in my legs.  What I went through the last twelve hours was getting up and using the restroom a lot.  I got two and a half bags of IV last night right after the game.  So between 2 a.m. and 11 a.m. I got up about six or seven times.  So obviously I got no sleep.

Q.  LeBron, the county official that oversees the AT&T Center, he was at the game last night and he said that he thought media reports of the conditions were overstated; that he was actually comfortable.  Put in your words what you thought. 
LeBRON JAMES:  How do I answer this?  They were some extreme conditions.  I've never played an NBA game like it was last night as far as the heat.  Not an excuse but it was an extreme condition.  I looked at the stands at one point and I saw every last fan having fans, double entendre, waving fans and I knew at that point, this is something different.

Q.  Can you take us through what you did during the game, how you tried to deal with the heat and when you first started to notice it was affecting your body?
LeBRON JAMES:¬† I always hydrate.¬† Every time I'm out I'm hydrating every timeout, because I know I sweat a lot.¬† But I noticed it in warm‑ups, and I don't know where it came from, but I felt it get a little warm.¬† And I actually sat on the scorer's table for 10 minutes and stopped warming up, so I could cool down a little bit.
I really started to feel it in the second quarter and I never really change my uniform, but at halftime I changed my whole uniform and in the third quarter I came out with I believe eight minutes to go in the third.  And I usually play the whole third quarter, so I knew the conditions was a little extreme for me personally.

Q.  Do you make anything of social media criticism, the chatter, Jonathan Martin, the Gatorade?
LeBRON JAMES:  I'm not on social media right now, obviously I hear about it, because I know you guys are going to ask me, so I need to be ready for it.  The medical team we have here, man, my training staff and myself we do a great job of preparing for a game.
What everybody has to say, you guys should know me by now; I don't care, I really don't.¬† I really don't care what people say about me, I don't care about that sports group, the drink group that‑‑ I'm not even going to say their name.¬† I'm not going to give them a light¬† in The Finals.¬† This is about the Spurs and the Heat, and it's not about everybody else, man, I don't care.

Q.  When you made your last layup, did everything just clenched up right then?
LeBRON JAMES:  Yeah, just shut down.  My body just shut down, basically my body said, okay, enough jumping for you for the night.  You've had enough.  Nothing I could do about it.

Q.  LeBron, how much anger did you experience last night about not being able to be out there at the end?
LeBRON JAMES:  For obvious reasons, I was angry, I was disappointed in myself.  I mean, I did everything that I needed to do to prepare for this game, prepare for this moment and, you know, to feel like my body failed me last night, I was angry in the fact that I couldn't help my team get over the hump.  In a huge Game 1, wanting to make a statement.  After I made that layup, we was down two.
So disappointed in myself, angry at myself that I couldn't be out there where I knew my team needed me the most.  That was frustrating for sure.

Q.  Will you continue to get IVs?  Are you finished for treatment?
LeBRON JAMES:  I'm not done with treatment, but I'm probably done with the IVs right now, unless I catch a cramp sitting around the hotel or tomorrow at practice or something like that.  I've been very preventative.  This happened to me a few times.  Happened to me a lot in high school.  I have been tested for it; all the tests came back positive.  So we're always up on it, and stay ahead of the curve, and last night was one of those nights.

Q.  Was there a time where you felt like you should have overridden Spo's decision, or was it just impossible to go last night?
LeBRON JAMES:  No, Spo knows the best for our team.  He has the best interest for our team.  And I did want to go back in the game, and he was like, "Hey, don't even try it.  It's a long series."  And I respected that.  I could have gotten myself into more trouble.  You know, if I go out there and try to play through a cramp and pull something, it could be even worse.
I left it at that time and went in and got my treatment, got my IVs and just prepared for Game 2.

Q.  LeBron, you may have just answered this, but have doctors ever told you why you may be more susceptible to cramping and why it happens to you?
LeBRON JAMES:  No, no, they haven't.  I've been tested and all the results came back positive, they said just keen doing what you been doing, continue to hydrate.  Continue to do everything you've been doing.  It hasn't happened a lot in my career.  It's just so happened it happened twice in the NBA Finals and we all remember that.  It happened in the OKC series and it happened last night.
So bad timing on my part, you know, and hopefully it doesn't happen again.

Q.  You've obviously been educated on the science behind all this since you've been dealing with it since high school, but what exactly is the cause?  Because everyone says hydrate more, drink more water, you've been taking pills or salt tablets.  What seems to help?
LeBRON JAMES:  The body just decides to shut down.  I mean, I hydrated as much as I could to the point where your stomach feels like it just can't take anymore.  Last night it just got to a point where the body just had enough, just dehydrated.  Between jumping and running and cutting and sweating and a little bit of everything, exhaustion, you know, the body just hit the shutdown.  Nothing that you can do about it, in my case.  You know, it's frustrating for sure, but nothing I can do about it.

Q.¬† The whole Sterling saga you spoke out very forcefully and early on that.¬† Just wondering, what is it that makes you so comfortable also speaking out about‑‑ willing to voice your opinion on other social issues and things that may be further away from the basketball court?
LeBRON JAMES:¬† For me I voice my opinion on issues that first of all, I have knowledge about and issues that I feel like I'm able to make an impact on, things that I'm comfortable with.¬† And two instances in cases was obviously the Donald Sterling piece, because I'm part of this league and I want this league to stand for the right thing, me being a part of it.¬† It should be‑‑ this league should stand for the game, being the greatest sport the world has to offer, the greatest athletes, the greatest owners, the greatest coaches and so on and so on, the greatest fans.¬† And I spoke on the Trayvon Martin piece and it hit home for me because I have two young boys at home.¬† And I couldn't imagine sending my boys off, and not seeing them again.
So those are two issues that were easy for me to speak on while everybody else believed it was sensitive.

Q.  Is that something that four or five years ago you wouldn't have felt as comfortable speaking on?
LeBRON JAMES:  Four or five years ago, I don't know.  I don't know.  Could have been the case.  Maybe I felt like I wasn't mature enough to speak on it, didn't have enough knowledge to speak on it.  When you become more comfortable with yourself, you start to feel like you can do other things as well.  And for me, I speak on issues that I believe is either right or wrong and go from there.

Q.  What do you guys feel like you have to do better in Game 2 than last night?
LeBRON JAMES:¬† We got to defend the paint a little bit better.¬† They did a great job of moving us around and through the pick‑and‑rolls they got buckets in the paint.
We can't turn the ball over on the road.
We did a great job of covering the three but loosened up a little bit in the fourth, and it was five out of six from the three‑point line.¬† Danny had two or three, Kawhi had two and Tony had one.¬† From our quarter so that would be six, so we've got to do a better job of getting out to their shooters as well, but we will break down the film, and I'll give you a more extensive answer tomorrow.

Q.  Last night, do you sometimes feel constrained by the requirements of the products that you endorse, whether it's hydration products or some of the gear you wear?  And that gear, the compression stuff, the body armor, you wear a lot of that stuff.  How essential is it and do you feel like it caused you to retain heat and made things worse?
LeBRON JAMES:¬† I actually don't wear a lot of it, I wear a pair of tights, underwear, jersey and shorts, socks and shoes and a headband, arm sleeve.¬† (Laughter).¬† Compared to my teammate D‑Wade, he looks like a football player compared to me.
I don't really wear a bunch of stuff.  Like I said, we're on top of it, between the training staff and the medical staff we have here and myself, I'll be on top of
 it.  It's a freak thing, I don't know, when it happens, there is nothing I can do about it, except get hydrated and go from there.

Q.  What about the first part, the drinks versus the endorsements.  Do you feel like you have to stick with the products that you're endorsing or do you feel like you can venture out and do other stuff?
LeBRON JAMES:  Listen, at the end of the day I'm here to win a championship, you know, and obviously I'm conscious about the things that I endorse, but that's not in the forefront of my mind when I'm trying to win a championship.  Whatever it takes for us to win at this point that's what I'm going to do.  Me being out on the floor, helping our team win throughout crucial moments is more important than anything.

Q.  Is there any question about your availability on Sunday?  And how far from 100% are you today?
LeBRON JAMES:  If I had to say today I would probably be out on Sunday, I probably won't play.  (Laughter.)
No, I'll be all right.  I'll be in uniform on Sunday.  I should be 100% on Sunday.  Obviously I'm going to take it light today.  Training staff said I should take it light today.  Give the body another day to recover, tomorrow I should be back on my feet full go, and I got all day Sunday to get ready for Sunday night.  Don't worry, you guys can talk about me as much as you want.  I'll be there on Sunday as well.  I'm not hiding.
THE MODERATOR:  Thank you. 

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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