The third leg of the Los Angeles Lakers’ road trip takes place in Cleveland against the Cavaliers on Tuesday night. And even though he has been there multiple times as a member of the opposing team, every return to his home state means something for LeBron James.
Of course, LeBron was born and raised in nearby Akron, Ohio, was drafted by the Cavaliers back in 2003 and spent 11 of his 20 NBA seasons with the franchise over two separate stints. Most famously, LeBron brought the franchise its first NBA Championship back in 2016, and now as a member of the Lakers, he still looks forward to these games.
James spoke after the Lakers’ most recent win, and when asked about the Cavaliers, he complimented the team for how good they’ve been before noting that it’s always good to return home and he’s expecting a big group of friends and family in attendance, via Spectrum SportsNet:
“It’s a very good team, very well orchestrated team, and they’ve been playing good basketball for the majority of the season so far, and we’re starting to play some good basketball. It’s always good to go back, we have a lot of history, it’s very close to my hometown, and a lot of my friends and family will be at the game so it’s always good to be able to still play in front of them. They’ve seen me from the first time I ever picked up a basketball until now, so it’s special in its own right.”
The last couple of times James returned to Cleveland, he put on an absolute show. Last year, LeBron finished with 38 points, 10 rebounds and 12 assists, leading a fourth quarter domination by the Lakers in their 11-point win. The season prior, LeBron was unbelievable with 46 points, 8 rebounds, 6 assists, 2 steals and 2 blocks, knocking down seven 3-pointers in a seven-point Lakers victory.
Even though he is now in Year 20, James has shown he is still capable of putting on those performances on any given night and he will undoubtedly be looking to give his fans something to remember yet again. Anthony Davis has been the one dominating as of late, but perhaps he will cede some things to LeBron since the Lakers are in his home.
LeBron James credits different coaches for forcing his game to evolve
In order for LeBron to still be so effective at this stage of his career, he has had to change his game over the years. Recently, James spoke about this, admitting to relying on his unreal athleticism for the most part in his early career as he knew no one could match it.
James then singled out some coaches who forced him to evolve and improve noting the likes of Gregg Popovich, Dwayne Casey and Rick Carlisle and how they guarded him as giving him the impetus to put in even more work to be the best.
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