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LeBron James Interview




/ Nov. 21, 2004

LeBron JamesCleveland Cavaliers superstar LeBron James is dominating the NBA in just his second season as a professional. The Cavs visited the New York Knicks Sunday night for a game in Madison Square Garden. A few hours before the game, the NBA officially made the decision to suspend Ron Artest for the rest of the season and other players for large parts of it. editor Jeff Lenchiner handed LeBron the press release. LeBron didn't know the news yet until reading the release. Then, and a few other media outlets talked to him. Here's what was said:

LeBron James: (Reading) Wow...

Question: In terms of the division now, how does it help?

LeBron James: We don't even want to look at it like the suspension helping us. I feel like would be a good team no matter if they were going to be in this league or not. We don't want it to be no excuse, because we're winning, the reason why we're winning is because these players are out. We just try out best, just keep maintaining the focus, and go handle our business.

Question: But your initial reaction to the suspensions?

LeBron James: Wow... ah, I don't know what... it's hard, man, I don't know what I would do if I had to sit out that many games. Ah. It's kind of... it's just wild right now, I don't have no reaction to it, really.

Question: Did you have a game that night, or...

LeBron James: No, I was at home. It happened Friday night, wasn't it? Yeah, I was at home watching it. I seen it live. It was unbelievable.

Question: And what were you thinking while you saw it?

LeBron James: Initially, I didn't know what was going on, because I didn't know what sparked it. I didn't know how it got all the way into the crowd. But, it was just wild. It was crazy.

Question: Talk about your personal development over the last season.

LeBron James: Work ethic. I feel like I got better because I worked out in the off-season, just got better as a complete player, and it has transferred into this year.

Question: Is it getting easier and easier for you to do your thing on the court?

LeBron James: I don't want to say "easier," I just play my game. I don't want to look at it as being easier. I just feel like I'm having a lot more fun.

Question: So "easier" is the wrong word.

LeBron James: Yeah, not easier, but I've clearly looked more comfortable out there playing.

Question: What did you work on in particular this summer?

LeBron James: Shooting, a lot of shooting, a lot of defensive principals. And then the other apsects of my game that can get me better.

Question: Talk about the potential of this team.

LeBron James: It's great. I feel like we just go out and play every night, and give ourselves a chance to win.

Question: Who did you play with this summer, any players in particular?

LeBron James: Naw, I worked out by myself for the most part. Besides being at the Olympics, I worked out by myself.

Question: Did the Olympics teach you anything?

LeBron James: It made me stronger as a person and a player. I had to sacrifice a lot of things that I've never done before in my life, so as a person it made me stronger, but it didn't help my game.

Question: The style of play of the teams you were up against, did you notice distinct stuff that they did?

LeBron James: They worked hard as a team. There wasn't a superstar on their team, so they needed everyone on the whole team to come out and play well, which they did, they shared the ball great and they played team basketball and team defense.

Question: It seems like there's more movement in the international style of ball.

LeBron James: It's a different style of game, of course. So, that's why it looks like that.

Question: How do you handle the pressure that's put on you, in the basketball world?

LeBron James: Ain't no pressure. I've been doing this my whole life, playing basketball, so pressure is not a word that I've always used. I've never liked that word. I just go out and play my game, and just be myself off the court.

Question: So seeing your jerseys everywhere, it doesn't weigh on you?

LeBron James: It's nothing. I go out and play basketball. This is what I love to do. So, handling it and being humble is not hard.

Question: What about the stuff that gets said, calling you the new Jordan, things like that?

LeBron James: I listen to it, but I don't let it change my game, or change the way I approach the game.

Question: So is that a big key for success, being humble?

LeBron James: I don't know. I think everybody has a different way to describe how successful they are. I just feel like me being humble and me staying positive, and me giving thanks to the Lord, my Jesus Christ, for giving me the God-given talent, has just really helped me.

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