A mere few hours before Game 1 of the NBA Finals tips off, LeBron James — a man who has the weight of a world of expectation and a fair amount of hate on his shoulders — was relaxed.
After the Miami Heat’s shootaround, James said he wasn’t uptight over having walked away ringless from the Finals in 2007 and last June. “The first two times I went, I couldn’t sleep,” James said (via the Palm Beach Post’s Ethan J. Skolnick), as he held “Decoder” by Jay-Z. (Game 1 tips at 9 p.m. EDT tonight from Oklahoma City on ESPN.) “Last night, I slept really well. It just shows you what type of zone I’m in right now. I’m comfortable.”
James was so mellow that he couldn’t be provoked. He was asked about real and imagined Finals opponents, including Kevin Durant (whose Oklahoma City Thunder team is the opponent tonight) and Kobe Bryant (whose Lakers the Heat has never faced).
“LeBron and Kobe?” James said with a smile. “I was disappointed that LeBron [versus] whoever it was didn’t happen. I didn’t give a damn if it was Kobe or not. Hey, listen, I understand it’s LeBron and (Kevin) Durant — that’s you guys’ storylines. I’m in the Finals so it doesn’t matter. I don’t care who it’s against. It could be us against a college team or high school team.”
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