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Los Angeles Lakers player LeBron James shrugs as they qualify for the 10th NBA Finals

Los Angeles Lakers player LeBron James shrugs as they qualify for the 10th NBA Finals

Lake Buena Vista, Florida – Stand by a teammate Anthony Davis He spoke to reporters about how his debut season with the Los Angeles Lakers delivered the first berth in the NBA Finals of his career, LeBron James He was asked what it meant for him to appear in the tenth finals of his career.

“Right now, it doesn’t mean that – unless I’m done with it,” James told ESPN after the Lakers’ 117-107 victory in the fifth game over the Denver Nuggets on Saturday to win the Western Conference title. “I must get it done.”

He definitely finished cutting the nuggets. James scored 16 from his game high of 38 points in the fourth quarter, and went 7 to 10 off the field in the final frame. He showed the rest of his skills throughout the match, scoring 16 rebounds and 10 assists to score his 27th career triple playoffs, second only to Magic Johnson 30.

But James, the NBA’s No. 1 scoring captain of all time in the post-season, put the ball into the group. His last six goals he scored on the field were in the fourth quarter unassisted, and tied for most of the singles shots he scored in the fourth quarter of a playoff of his career, according to Second Spectrum data. This was the most points he had ever scored in the final quarter of a playoff series, and he had success on very few of those points, improving to 10-38 (.792) in closed matches, the best record in those games by any A player in the history of the league (at least 25 games), according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

While throwing his jump shot after hopping over a Denver defender – his five jumps in the quarter were tied to the most jump shots he got in the fourth quarter of any game since Spectrum Two began tracking in 2013-2014 – he was reminded the first time he bounced The Lakers’ costume in a pre-season game in San Diego two years ago. The Lakers were playing with the Nuggets.

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“I remember the pre-season game,” James told ESPN. “I remember we’re coming out of the tunnel. I remember the first pass I gave was for the most advanced player this year [Brandon Ingram], To throw the ball and it was an amazing moment. And I remember the first shot I took was to throw the 3rd ball again [Nikola] Jockic. I remember that. And the crowd. Curse. She was distinguished. It was special. “

There was no crowd on Saturday, except for the roughly a dozen Lakers family members sitting in the stands at AdventHealth Arena where the COVID-19 precautions brought NBA to an end its season in a bubble where daily testing is mandatory, but it was still special in its own right.

When James is asked to say a few words on the main court after white and gold scraps of paper have fallen to commemorate the Lakers’ first trip to the finals since 2010, when Kobe Bryant led Los Angeles bypassing rival Boston Celtics in seven matches, he allowed himself to live in the moment.

“We’re going to enjoy it tonight, as we should, because we don’t promise it every year,” James said. “There are only two teams that can qualify for the finals every year. This means that only about 30 players qualify each year for the finals. We will enjoy it tonight, but we realize we have a bigger fish to fry. We understand there is a bigger goal, but we can’t take this for granted.” Because it doesn’t happen every year to anyone. “

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And every year is not like the year that the Lakers take to reach this point. They’ve gone through a lot of canceling pre-season matches almost abroad, to the tragic death of Bryant in January, to a hiatus of 4 and a half months due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“I’ve been fueled all year round,” James told ESPN. “All year. Even during the lockdown. I was still training.”

Along the way, Bryant, a crazy agent in his own right, became an inspiration and motivation, as the team broke rallies by chanting “1-2-3 Mamba!” He wore black snakeskin jerseys during the qualifiers in his honor.

For James, who memorably echoed Bryant’s announcement that he would skip college to “take my talents” to the NBA when he left Cleveland in 2010 “to take my talents to South Beach”, his announcement that he had “bigger fish to fry” was just a coincidence. Bryant said lightly of the mockery during the 2006 qualifiers when he suggested that Raja Bill of the Phoenix Suns was locking him up in defense.

“he did?” James told ESPN upon being informed of the parallel wording. “Oh, really? No, I didn’t know that. I didn’t know that. It’s funny. There’s some insanity … going on.”

In the basketball sense, nothing is more brutal than the challenge that awaits James in the Finals. In the event that the Miami Heat – who beat the Celtics 3-2 in the Eastern Conference Finals – advances, they will face their old team led by engineer Pat Riley, who erred when James left Miami. Return to Cleveland in 2014.

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If Boston returns, James and Lakers will have a chance to draw with the Celtics in the most tournaments in league history, with 17 tournaments, by beating the leading team to do so.

A win would also give him his fourth career title in the same spot where Bryant won his fourth: Orlando.

This is all still at stake. Although James’ appearances in the Ten Finals made him the third-ranked finish ever with him Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Trailing only 11 Sam Jones & Bill Russell 12; Although the Lakers have persevered a lot to get to this point, there is still more to do.

If James manages to finish the season with a championship and the best player in the finals, he will become the first player to win this award with three franchises. Bryant may not be playing all of his 20 seasons with the Lakers, or Michael Jordan He won all six times in the Championship Tour, but it’s his true story.

“I just want to travel on my own trip, because it’s my trip. I appreciated everything that happened along the way. I mean, all along – the up, the down, the up and down, the winnings and the losses,” James said. As Frank Sinatra said, ‘I did it my way.’

Before it’s time to play Sinatra as a swan song, James is considering a song from Jay-Z’s 2003 song “Public Service Announcement” as his direction.

“Finish your breakfast,” James told ESPN, citing Jay-Z’s way of saying you need to get the job done. “Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm. Complete your breakfast.”

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