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LeBron James: ‘Sacrifice, commitment, and experience has made me who I am today’

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The NBA’s defending champion Cleveland Cavaliers are all set for tonight’s Game 3 matchup of the Eastern Conference Semifinals against the Toronto Raptors. Bags are checked, morning shootaround is complete, and media availability is a wrap.

Prior to shootaround, LeBron James, who was sporting a black hat that read “Strive for Greatness” across the front, spoke to members of the media with regards to his recent surge in on-court performance. When asked if he had another gear, The King didn’t really feel like discussing the topic much, simply saying, “We’ll see. I’m going to let you guys talk about that.”

Whether he wants to admit it or not, James has been playing great basketball as of late. Through his first six bouts of the 2016-17 NBA Playoffs, James is averaging 34.2 points (57% from the field, 48% from downtown), 9.2 rebounds, 7.3 assists, 1.8 blocks and 2.7 steals in 42.2 minutes per game.

James knows that the playoffs are where legends and legacies are made — a fact he briefly touched on during this morning’s presser.

Via Chris Fedor of cleveland.com:

“I just train my mind and train my body,” James said. “It’s the best part of the year. They say this is where legends are made and where you can make a name for yourself that can last longer than when you play the game, when you’re done. I just try to put myself into position where I can be best remembered when I’m done playing.”

Accolades and milestones continue to mount for James, now playing in the postseason for a 12th consecutive year. In Cleveland’s first-round sweep against the Indiana Pacers, The Kid from Akron passed former Los Angeles Lakers great Kobe Bryant for the third position on the NBA’s all-time playoff scoring list. In Wednesday night’s 125-103 Game 2 win over the Raptors, James passed Kareem Abdul-Jabbar for the second position on that same list.

While it’s true that James is in his 14th season, he sure isn’t showing any signs of slowing down. By now, he has seen every defensive scheme, strategy, and game plan in the preverbal book.

“At 22, I wasn’t mentally ready for this,” James said. “You dream about it, you want it, but you don’t have the experience to actually know. I think in ’07, I think that was my first time going to the Finals. Mentally, I’d never been a part of it, so I didn’t know exactly how much commitment, how much sacrifice that you’ve got to make not only for yourself, but for your team for the better of it. But the experience, without the experience I wouldn’t be who I am today.”

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