At this point in his career, LeBron James has nothing left to prove. A four-time NBA champion, Finals MVP and regular-season MVP, James is a sure-fire first-ballot Hall-of-Famer. But he and the Los Angeles Lakers are widely regarded as a favorite to win the 2021 NBA Championship.
The 2020-21 campaign ended in dispiriting fashion, though the Lakers are set up for one of the league’s best comebacks. James is entering Year 19 of his illustrious career and while it would be easy to start mailing it in he revealed why he is still working as hard as he is.
“Just motivated to have an opportunity to win a championship,” James said. “That’s why I play the game. It’s one of the greatest shortest feelings that you have. You win a championship and everything that you put into that year just hits you all at once and literally like a couple hours later it’s like it’s over. You just see a whole time you’re just trying to figure out how can you get that moment again. Seriously! That’s part of my motivation still. Just always trying to get that feeling.
“It’s like when you go to Cedar Point. The greatest amusement park in the world and you ride the greatest ride and that ride is taking its damn well time to get to the top and you are there in total excitement and you finally go down that hill. And you’re like, ‘Okay. I want to ride it again, but it will take you three hours to get back on that ride.’ I would just rather go somewhere else, so that’s kind of like the moment of winning a championship.”
As far as his approach to the game, James admitted things have changed as he has gotten older. “Yeah, I’ve gotten a little bit more patient with the process as the years went on. I joined D-Wade almost 11 years ago and then Kyrie [Irving] about seven years ago, so I was at a different point in my life. Got to realize I went to Miami when I was 25 years old.
“I was still figuring out who I was as a person. Figuring out what I wanted in life. Then I was 29 when I teamed up with Kyrie. 36 going on 37 now. My life is pretty much set. I know who I am, I know what I bring to the table, I know how to put myself and put guys around me in position to be successful and not get too high or get too low. Just going to stay even-keeled.
“I didn’t even drink wine yet when I teamed up with D-Wade or Kyrie. Or tequila. Weird. That lets you know right there and then I’m a totally different person.”
The star forward remains an elite player and one of the few constants when it comes to championship runs. One of the best leaders in the game, King James has a chance to put the Purple and Gold back on top.
LeBron James believes Lakers build chemistry during training camp
Chemistry is always overlooked as an ingredient to championship success, but so far the Lakers look like they are clicking off the floor. James himself believes the team was able to build chemistry during training camp and hopefully that translates to wins throughout the season.
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