LeBron James, four-time NBA Most Valuable Player, knows a thing or two about the difficulty of reaching a goal. In fact, the former No. 1 pick in the 2003 NBA Draft needed nine years and a team switch to the Miami Heat to take home his first Larry O’Brien trophy.
Now that he is back with the Cleveland Cavaliers and is just three wins shy of his third title, one would assume that bringing home a rare major sports championship to his home state is his only goal. But in a recent revelation, James hinted that there is an ulterior reason that drives him to lay his best on the floor night after night in the Cavaliers' NBA Finals match-up against the heavily favored Golden State Warriors.
The widely regarded best player of his generation hinted at letting the secret out -- but only if Cleveland wins the championship. "My motivation is to make sure my guys are ready and prepared every night we step on the floor. And I have some other motivation that I won't talk about right now, but I have so many different things to worry about than being an underdog or guys counting us out," James told Joe Vardon of the Northeast Ohio Media Group.
James and the Cavs got a new lease on life by shocking the Warriors in overtime in Game 2 of their series, in Oakland, California. The Cavs had been written off by most NBA watchers after losing star Kyrie Irving for the series because of a knee fracture suffered in Game 1. That setback followed the loss of All-Star Kevin Love, who went down during the first round of the playoffs.
But “King James,” while disappointed with the turn of events, said he is not discouraged -- adding that the Cavs hope to use the adverse circumstances to fuel an unprecedented drive to the title. The former Rookie of the Year reportedly gave his teammates Apple Watches before the start of the series, a move he described as his “way of appreciating his guys.” Cleveland's J.R. Smith mentioned that this was not the first time that James went out of his way to express gratitude for their effort. He added that James’ demeanor toward his teammates will play a big factor in some players’ decision to return next season.