Heat star hasn’t forgotten about heartbreak of ’07 Finals while at Cleveland.
Back in the NBA Finals 2007, the San Antonio Spurs completed a sweep against an inexperienced Cleveland Cavaliers team which included a young LeBron James.
Since then, the 28-year-old has gone on to reach three consecutive Finals and finally ended the wait for a championship last year as the Miami Heat overcame the Oklahoma City Thunder.
However, something still burns inside over the way he was defeated in his first appearance in the Finals, and James is ready to seek out revenge ahead of Game 1 on Thursday night.
“I have something in me that they took in ’07; beat us on our home floor, celebrated on our home floor. I won’t forget that. You shouldn’t as a competitor. You should never forget that,” he told the media as reported by ESPN.
“It’s the same group of guys, for the most part. The same Big Three, and Coach [Gregg] Pop[ovich]. And I look forward to the challenge once again.”
In that series the Spurs played on James’ lack of a reliable jump shot, forcing him into situations where he had to take them rather than be able to drive to the basket.
He shot 36 percent that time but is adamant that San Antonio can’t play that same tactic again, as his all-round game is much improved and along with an experienced Miami team, he has the perfect opportunity for redemption.
“If you go into my pick-and-roll now, I’m going to shoot. And I’m confident I’m going to make every last one of them. I’m a better player and you can’t dare me to do anything I don’t want to do in 2013,” he added.
James clearly believes he has some unfinished business with the Spurs, but his rivals will appreciate that he is no longer the same player and will therefore have to draw up a new strategy to limit him.
Over the past two years or so he has grown into a reliable clutch player, and he will hope to make the difference again as he goes in search of a second ring.
Watch his pre-game press conference below: