LeBron James interview after legendary Game 5 performance
Thursday night in Game 5 of the NBA Playoffs Eastern conference finals Cleveland Cavaliers superstar LeBron James unleashed a legendary performance in a 109-107 double-overtime win over the Detroit Pistons. Here's what King James said after the game:
Q. LeBron, you scored 29 of your team's last 30 points in the fourth quarter and the two overtimes, was this just you taking the team on your back and not letting them lose? What was your mindset?
LEBRON JAMES: Just the simple fact of us coming here in Game 1 and 2 and playing so well and falling short, and throughout this whole game we played the same way. The same way we played in Games 1 and 2, and we couldn't leave out of here without getting at least one win, just as well as we've played in this building, and that was just my mindset.
Q. LeBron were you surprised at all that through the fourth quarter and the overtime there was so much one-on-one coverage and you were able to drive the lane so easily?
LEBRON JAMES: I don't believe there was a lot of one-on-one coverage; there was a lot of double-teaming, a lot of triple-teaming, and I just tried to get the ball up. They have to respect my shooters out on the court, with Daniel Gibson and Donyell Marshall and Sasha and Damon Jones and Z, you have to respect my shooters, you can't just leave them open. So I was able to attack once I got the ball back, and make a lot of tough shots. I give all the credit to my teammates. This is definitely not an individual performance on my part, but without those other 14 guys, we would be down 3-2 instead of up 3-2.
Q. LeBron, were you surprised how easily you were able to get to the rim, especially down the stretch? You beat Tayshaun Prince for two dunks, one in regular time and one in overtime.
LEBRON JAMES: Why do I have to be surprised? I made a lot of good moves and I was able to finish. It wasn't just like they opened up the lane and let me through there. I made a lot of good moves, my teammates did a good job of spacing the floor and I just wanted to try to finish. They're definitely a great defensive team, but at times I wanted to attack as much as possible and that's it.
Q. LeBron, where does this rank for you in terms of performances you've had in a game?
LEBRON JAMES: Just for the simple fact that we won the ballgame means more than anything besides my performance. If I did everything I did tonight and we lost, it means nothing. So the win is the most important thing for us, and we are one more win from getting to our goal.
Q. How do you feel right now?
LEBRON JAMES: Terrible.
Q. I meant physically, are you tired? Exhausted?
LEBRON JAMES: Yeah, I feel terrible right now.
Q. Are you tired? You feel like you can...
LEBRON JAMES: I'm everything, I'm banged up, I'm winded, I'm fatigued. I've got all day tomorrow. It's going to be tough to get some rest when you got a crazy two-year-old running around the house. So hopefully I can take him to one of his grandma's house.
Q. LeBron, how emotional is this for you to have the kind of game you had in this environment, this situation in Game 5, and be able to play the way you played tonight?
LEBRON JAMES: The simple fact that I was able to will my team to victory and definitely pleasing to me. This is definitely a big win, one of the biggest wins in Cavaliers' franchise history, for me and my teammates, it's definitely the biggest win. But we have a goal, we can't dwell on this tonight when we have another game on Saturday. We have got to do our best to try to win that ballgame and get where we wanted to be all year.
Q. When this run of yours started, this scoring, it was right after the Pistons ran off 10-0, about the middle of the fourth quarter, what are you thinking at that point? At that point do you say, that's enough, I'm not letting this go any farther?
LEBRON JAMES: The Pistons do a great job of making runs and you kind of never know when it's going to happen, but when it happens it's quick. So I just wanted to try to be aggressive and not allow them to make too much of a run, and give ourselves an opportunity to win down at the end of regulation. And it took two overtimes to do it, but as a team we definitely -- this is a gutted-out victory.
Q. LeBron, you joked around in one of your television commercials about having to go through Detroit, for you what did the pitches represent?
LEBRON JAMES: Team passion, hard work, this is a group of guys that's never going to give up, and team basketball. When you look at San Antonio and you look at Detroit, that's what you want to be at a certain point in your career. They've done it year after year after year after year after year after year. So I respect the Pistons more than any team in the league just because I'm in the Eastern Conference, and I play against them as much as I do.
So this is definitely a group of guys that have a lot of fight in them, and we have to take the challenge on Saturday.