Miami Heat star LeBron James said Wednesday that he has not forgotten how the San Antonio Spurs celebrated their NBA championship in 2007 on his former team’s court.
James said he’s waited a long time to get back at the Spurs for the way they beat the Cleveland Cavaliers.
“I have something in me that they took in ’07; beat us on our home floor, celebrated on our home floor,” James said during his NBA Finals press conference. “I won’t forget that. You shouldn’t as a competitor. You should never forget that.
“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.”
Spurs center Tim Duncan isn’t surprised by James’ comments.
“I have to imagine he does [have revenge on his mind],” Duncan said. “He’s a competitor, I can’t imagine he’s forgotten that.”
In the 2007 sereis, the Spurs took advantage of James lack of a reliable jump shot, forcing him to take shots from spots on the floor that he wasn’t comfortable with. They also left James open on pick-and-rolls.
“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,” James said. “I’m a better player and you can’t dare me to do anything I don’t want to do in 2013.”
This season, James is shooting 46 percent on jump shots between 16-23 feet, compared to 2007 when he shot just 34 percent, according to Hoopdata.com. He also shot just 28 percent from 3-point range against the Spurs. This postseason, he’s shooting 39 percent from beyond the arc.
“After that Finals he probably always obviously wanted to get back again, I think he probably always wanted to get back and play them,” Dwyane Wade said. “So obviously having this opportunity right now is probably something he always dreamed of, of getting back to the Finals and playing the Spurs again.”