Lake Buena Vista, Fla. – Standing side by side as his teammate Anthony Davis In his first season with the Los Angeles Lakers he spoke to reporters about the first NBA Finals berth of his career, LeBron James Asked what his 10th final appearance in his career meant.
“Right now, that doesn’t mean — until I finish it,” James told ESPN after the Lakers’ 117-107 Game 5 win against Denver Nuggets on Saturday to win the Western Conference crown. “I got it done.”
He definitely closed the knots. James scored 16 of his game-high 38 points in the fourth quarter, which went 7-10 from the field in the final frame. He demonstrated the rest of his skills throughout the game, including 16 rebounds and 10 assists to record his 27th career playoff triple-double, second only to Magic Johnson’s 30.
But James, the NBA’s No. 1 all-time postseason scoring leader, put the ball in the bucket. His final six field goals in the fourth quarter were all unassisted, tied for the only shot he made in the fourth quarter of a playoff game of his career, according to Second Spectrum data. The fourth quarter of the series Clincher had the most points he scored so far, and he had many successes, improving to 38-10 (.792) in closeout games, the best record in those games. Any player (at least 25 games) in league history, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
As he sprayed jump shots after jumping over the Denver Defenders – his five jumpers in the quarter, who tied for the most jump shots he got in the fourth quarter of any game since Second Spectrum began tracking trading in 2013-14 – he remembers Arrived in San Diego two years ago for the Prison game he first slipped on a Lakers uniform. The Lakers were playing the knot.
James ESPN Said, “I remember that previous game.” “I remember we got out of the tunnel. I remember the first pass I threw was for the most improved player this year. [Brandon Ingram], For a layout and it was a great moment. And I remember I did the first shot kickout in 3 overs [Nikola] Jokic. I remember that. And the crowd. Hashtags. It was special. It was special. “
There was no crowd on Saturday, saving about a dozen family members of the Lakers sitting on stands at AdventHealth Arena, as COVID-19 precautions ended the NBA season in a bubble where daily testing is mandatory, but it was still special in its own way.
While James was asked to say a few words on center court, the White and Gold Confetti Lakers’ first trip to the final was memorable in 2010, while Kobe Bryant was a rival to the Boston Celtics in seven games. Allowed himself to be in the moment.
“We’re going to enjoy it tonight, we’re supposed to, because not every year is promised,” James said. “There are only two teams that can advance to the finals every year. That means players who only advance to the finals every year. We are going to enjoy it tonight, but we understand that we have There’s a big fish to fry. We understand. There’s a big target, but we don’t understand this because it doesn’t happen to anyone every year. “
And every year it’s not quite like what the Lakers endure reaching this point. Until Bryant’s tragic death in January, due to a coronavirus epidemic ranging from almost pre-canceled games abroad, he went through a lot.
“I do fuel all year round,” James told ESPN. “All year. Even during the shutdown. I was still training.”
Along the way, Bryant, a mad worker in his own right, became a source of inspiration and inspiration, as the team shouted “1-2-2 mamba!” No shouting broke the flick. And wore a special black, snakeskin-print jersey at the playoffs in his honor.
For James, who echoed Bryant’s announcement that he would leave Cleveland to “take my talents to South Beach” in 2010 and leave college to go to the NBA, announcing that he had a “big fish fry” . Just coincidences. Bryant was fired during the 2006 playoffs when it was suggested that King Bell of the Phoenix Sons was defending him.
“Did he?” James told ESPN he learned of the parallel fracturing. “Oh, S —. Really? No, I didn’t know that. I don’t know that. It’s funny. There’s Crazy S — running.”
In a basketball sense, nothing worse than a challenge waiting for James in the final. Looking for a Miami hit – leading 2-2 against the Celtics in the Eastern Conference final, he will face his old team earlier, led by his architect, Pat Riley, who rubbed James wrongly when he left Miami. Return to Cleveland in 2014.
If Boston returns, James and the Lakers will have a chance to tie the Celtics for the most championships in league history with 17, beating their front team to do so.
And the victory will give him his fourth championship of his career in the same place: Bryant won his fourth: Orlando.
It’s all still at stake. Yet in James ’10 final appearances he joins for the third longest time Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Trailing only Sam Jones’ 11 and Bill Russell’s 12; Despite many efforts by the Lakers to reach this opportunity, much remains to be done.
If James can wrap up the season with championships and finals MVP, he will become the first player to win that award with three franchises. He can’t play all his 20 seasons with the Bryant Lakers, either Michael Jordan Winning all six times in the championship round, but that’s his authentic story.
“I just want to travel on my own, because it’s my journey. I’ve appreciated everything that happened along the way. I mean, the whole – ups, downs, ups on the court, downs on the court, wins and losses,” James said. Said. “But I’m able, I think Frank Sinatra would say, ‘I did it my way.’
Before it’s time to play Sinatra as a swan song, James is thinking of directing a song from Jay-Z’s 2003 track “Public Service Declaration” as his director.
“Finish your breakfast,” James said, quoting Jay-Z’s way of saying, “You need to get the job done.” “Mmm hmm. Finish your breakfast.”
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